Rhythmus 93

From the Naked Rabbit vaults comes this retro-garde homage to 1920s experimental filmmaker Hans Richter. Richter made a series of highly formalist films, each with the name “Rhythmus.” The numbers attached to them were to indicate the year in which they were made. But Hans either got confused or wanted to claim earlier authorship – the numbers don’t correspond as accurately as one might think. So, too, for this film, which was actually made in 1991, while I was a student. Now it has been rescued from the dustbin of history, for you.

What if Richter had color? What kind of a film would he make? Later, in 2010, when I had transferred this film from the crumbling positive, I considered the other obvious question – what if Richter had sound? – the original film was silent. Since Richter’s work was abstract and formal – only interested in graphic contrasts and not in any kind of content (although the “eyeball” shot is clearly inspired by a segment in Rhythmus 21) – then it stands to reason that his color and sound work would be the same – color contrasts and interactions plus pure sonic tones put up next to each other to create harmonics or interferences.

I know it’s not really your speed. But it’s only one minute twenty.

2 comments on “Rhythmus 93

  1. What amazes me is how long you must’ve slaved over this, in traditional animator fashion.

    How long would it take you to recreate it today, given you’ve worked out what you want to try? Would it take as long as a weekend on the computer? And all without opening a single pot of paint…

  2. There’s a bit of a cheat. Viking Eggeling and Hans Richter both would have drawn every frame. I used the crane and double-exposures to do the same thing. So I was trumping their 1920s technology with 1950s technology in the 1990s!

    Even so, it probably took a couple hours to prepare the artwork, a few hours to shoot, plus the wait time on developing.

    Today I could make this in about a half hour with After Effects!

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