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Avant-garde films all start with the belief that film is more interesting as art than as narrative Not surprisingly the first people to think this way were artists In Germany after World War I Swedish-born painter Viking Eggeling and Berliner Hans Richter collaborated on scroll paintings which they took to UFA studios in the hope of reproducing them as animated films Richter agreed to prepare a scroll using simpler square shapes and the animators produced his one-minute abstract film Rhythmus 21 1921 Eggeling who kept to his original designs painstakingly made his own animated short Diagonal Symphony 1922 but died not long after The American-born Dadaist-turned-surrealist Man Ray was living in Paris and made his first film in 1923 Le Retour La Raison combining superimpositions and shots of mobiles with his own rayograms registering objects on film by placing them on the photographic surface and exposing them to light The next year Frances great Cubist painter Fernand Lger made the first photographed abstract film Le Ballet Mcanique in which he wildly edited shots lit in extreme contrasts Also in 1924 Ren Clair made the zany Entracte with artists Man Ray Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia appearing onscreen The late 1920s saw a growing international movement of avant-garde cinema Richter used color and hand-painted the lines and squares of his Rhythmus 25 1925 he made Film Study in 1926 combining filmed images in surrealist associations and then continued to work in film Inflation 1927 Ghosts Before Breakfast 1928 Man Ray made two surrealist shorts Emak Bakia 1927 and Ltoile De Mer 1928 as well as the whimsical Les Mystres Du Chteau Du D 1929 In Hollywood in 1927 and 28 French-born Robert Florey directed low-budget features was assistant director on big-budget films and made experimental shorts The Life And Death Of 9413 -- A Hollywood Extra co-directed with Slavko Vorkapich The Loves Of Zero Johann The Coffin Maker and Skyscraper Symphony In Rochester New York
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