By Aimee Mollaghan (auth.)
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Extra info for The Visual Music Film
Richter, Eggeling and Survage’s explicit connection between their ﬁlm practice and vision for a visual music ﬁlm demonstrates that the discussion of their work as motion paintings by authors such as Lawder, Faure, Rodgers and Gasgard is a valid and useful one. Although the focus of their writing is on the visual aspects of the body of work under debate, it serves to place the aesthetics of the visual music ﬁlm into a broader historical context. It is my intention to combine aspects of this visually grounded methodology with an approach that places a greater emphasis on the musical qualities of the visual music ﬁlms.
Although Eggeling uses the musical analogy to lend the ﬁlm structure, form and, to a certain extent, content, it cannot be considered to be synaesthetic in nature nor can it be regarded as multimedia in the audiovisual sense that Eisenstein or Chion propose. It does, however, possess characteristics of Wagner’s gesamtkunstwerk through its use of the musical analogy, combining aspects of painting and music into the new hybrid form of the visual music ﬁlm. This chapter has laid the groundwork for the investigations of the way that visual music has thus far been read and has marked out a need for a rereading of visual music ﬁlms that pays attention to their musical characteristics.
Visually the ﬁgures look like variations on trails disappearing from shooting stars. As the ﬁlm progresses, the imagery becomes increasingly complex, echoing the development of a symphony. The individual elements of these compositions are in a constant evolution: growing, transforming and disappearing until the end of the ﬁgure. Musical form The title of the ﬁlm is the ﬁrst indication of a musical structure. As with the paintings of Paul Klee, Mondrian and Barnett Newman, Eggeling incorporates the nomenclature of music into the title to make explicit the connection between the structure of ﬁlm and music.