Pure cinema

Pure Cinema ( French for “Pure Cinema”) was an avant-garde film movement, which was initiated by filmmakers, like René Clair , who “wanted to return the medium to its original origins” of “vision and movement.” [1]


The term was first coined by Henri Chomette. citation needed ] The goal of the movement is to create a film that focuses on the pure elements of motion-like film, visual composition, and rhythm. It was begun by European filmmakers René Clair , Fernand Léger , Hans Richter , Viking Eggeling and others. They seek to achieve their goal by minimizing the plot, focusing on using close-ups, dolly shots, editing, lens distortions, and other cinematic techniques. Films like Mechanical Ballet , Symphony Diagonal , and The Symphony of a Great Cityprojected rhythm and motion in the title of the movies and the works themselves. In addition to close-ups, other filmmaking techniques have been used to create rhythm and visual interest. They include fastand slow motion , trick shots , stop action cinematography and dynamic cutting. [2]

The clearest examples of pure cinema by Hubert Revol to be documentaries. [3]

Documentary must be made by poets. Few of those within the world, but not enough insightful ribbons (of movie), but splendid movies lively and expressive … The purest of pure cinema, that is to say of poetry which is truly cinematographic, has been provided by some remarkable films, particularly Nanook and Moana . [3]

-  Herbert Revol, filmmaker and essayist

Story / Narrative Reduction

The dadaists saw in cinema an opportunity to transcends “story”, to ridiculous “character,” “setting,” and “plot” as bourgeois conventions, to slaughter causality by the innate dynamism of the motion picture medium to overturn film Aristotelian notions of time and space. The movement also encompasses the work of the feminist critic / cinematic filmmaker Germaine Dulac , particularly Theme and Variations , Disc 957 , and Cinegraphic Study of an Arabesque . Dulac’s goal was “pure” cinema, free from any influence of literature, the stage, or the other visual arts. [4] [5]

Art form

It declares cinema to be its own independent art form that should not borrow from literature or stage. As Such, “pure cinema” is made up of nonstory, noncharacter Films That Convey abstract single emotional through experiences cinematic Such devices have mounting (the Kuleshov Effect ), camera movement and camera angles, sound-visual relationships, super-impositions and other optical effects, and visual composition. [4]

Other terminology

Critics and artists used terms Such as Absolute Film , True Cinema , and “Integral Cinema” – Dulac’s term qui might better be translated “Self-Sufficient” or “Complete” Cinema – to stress That thesis works, all of ’em, functioned only as cinemas, cinemas, cinemas, cinematics, cinematics continuity, superimposition and its related split-screen imagery. quote needed ]

Influential examples

Pure Cinema , a 1920s and 1930s French avant-garde film movement also influenced the development of the idea of ​​”art film.” The pure movie theater movement included Dada artists, Such As Man Ray ( Emak-Bakia , Return to Reason ), René Clair ( Entr’acte ), and Marcel Duchamp ( Anemic Cinema ). The Dadaists used film to transcend narrative (storytelling) conventions, middle-class traditions, and the traditional Aristotelian notions of time and space by creating a flexible montage of time and space. quote needed ]

Chomette adjusts the movie speed and shots from different angles to capture abstract patterns in his 1925 movie Game of Reflections of Speed ( The Play of Reflections and Speed ). His film made the following year, Five minutes of pure cinema ( Five minutes of Pure Cinema ) reflected a more minimal, formal style. [6] Germaine Dulac’s goal of “pure cinema” and some of her works inspired the French Cinema pure film movement. Theme and Variations ( Theme and Variations ) and Disc , both made in 1928, are two examples of pure cinema by Dulac. [6]

Man Ray directed a number of influential avant-garde short films, known as Pure Cinema . He directed The Return to Reason (2 mins, 1923); Emak-Bakia (16 mins, 1926); The Starfish (15 mins, 1928); and The Mysteries of Dice Castle (27 mins, 1929). Man Ray also assisted Marcel Duchamp with the cinematography of his film Anemic Cinema (1926), and Ray personally manned the camera on Fernand Léger ‘s Ballet Mécanique (1924). quote needed ]

Director George Lucas , as a teenager in San Francisco during the early 1960s, saw many exhilarating and inspiring 16mm movies and nonstory noncharacter 16mm visual tone poems screened at cinematic artist Bruce Baillie’sindependent, underground Canyon Cinema shows; Along with some of Baillie’s own early visual motion pictures, Lucas became inspired by the work of Jordan Belson , Conner Bruce , Will Hindle , and others. Lucas then went to enroll as a student at USC School of Cinematic Arts, Where he saw many more inspiring cinematic works in class, PARTICULARLY the visual movies coming out of the National Film Board of Canada like Arthur Lipsett ‘s 21-87 , the French-Canadian cameraman Jean-Claude Labrecque ‘s cinema verité 60 cycles , the work of Norman McLaren , and the visualist cinema truth documentaries of Claude Jutra . Lipsett’s 21-87 , a 1963 Canadian short abstract collage film of discarded footage and city street scenes, had a profound influence on Lucas and sound designer / editor Walter Murch .[7] Lucas greatly admired pure cinema and film making became more 16 mm nonstory noncharacter visual tone poems and cinema truth, with such titles as Look at Life , Herbie , 1: 42.08 , The Emperor , Anyone Lived in a Pretty ( how) Town , Filmmaker , and 6-18-67 . Lucas’s aesthetic and style was also strongly influenced for the Star Wars movies. Lucas tributes to 21-87 appear in several places in Star Wars , with the phrase, ” The Force “, said to have been inspired by 21-87. Lucas was passionate and interested in camerawork and editing, defining himself as a filmmaker as opposed to being a director, and he loved making films. [8] [9]

Patrick Bokanowski’s 1982 film The Angel is said to have made some filmmakers envisioned in the 1920s: an aesthetic for creations to come – the pure cinema and the first avant-garde . quote needed ]


This is a partial list of examples of Pure Cinema Pure Cinema. For more examples, see the Pure Cinema / Pure Cinema template below.

Robert J. Flaherty , Nanook of the North , 1922 silent documentary was considered one of the ultimate examples of pure cinema

Viking Eggeling , Diagonal Symphony , 1924. Pictures are brought to life with this film. [1]

Notes and references

  1. ^ Jump up to:b Frank Eugene Beaver. Dictionary of Film Terms: The Aesthetic Companion To Film Art . Peter Lang; 2006 [cited 13 September 2012]. ISBN  978-0-8204-7298-0 . p. 23.
  2. Jump up^ Frank Eugene Beaver. Dictionary of Film Terms: The Aesthetic Companion To Film Art . Peter Lang; 2006 [cited 13 September 2012]. ISBN 978-0-8204-7298-0. pp. 23-24, 39.
  3. ^ Jump up to:b Ian Aitken. European Film Theory and Cinema: A Critical Introduction . Indiana University Press; January 1, 2002 [cited 14 September 2012]. ISBN  978-0-253-34043-6 . p. 72.
  4. ^ Jump up to:b Frank Eugene Beaver. Dictionary of Film Terms: The Aesthetic Companion To Film Art . Peter Lang; 2006 [cited 13 September 2012]. ISBN  978-0-8204-7298-0 . p. 23-24, 39-40, 90.
  5. Jump up^ Tami Michelle Williams. Beyond Impressions: The Life and Films of Germaine Dulac from Aesthetics to Politics . ProQuest; 2007 [cited 13 September 2012]. ISBN 978-0-549-44079-6. p. 7.
  6. ^ Jump up to:b Ian Aitken. European Film Theory and Cinema: A Critical Introduction . Indiana University Press; January 1, 2002 [cited 14 September 2012]. ISBN  978-0-253-34043-6 . p. 80.
  7. Jump up^ Pollock, Dale (1983). Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas . London: Elm Tree Books. ISBN  0-241-11034-3 .
  8. Jump up^ Steve Silberman. Life After Darth. George Lucas interview. Wired. May 2005. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
  9. Jump up^ Dan Brown. Star Wars: the Canadian angle. CBC News Online. September 8, 2004. Retrieved September 13, 2012.