Walter Ruttmann and the Cinema of  Multiplicity
Title
Walter Ruttmann and the Cinema of Multiplicity
Subtitle
Avant-Garde Film - Advertising - Modernity
Price
€ 40,95
ISBN
9789089645845
Format
Paperback
Number of pages
260
Language
English
Publication date
Dimensions
15.6 x 23.4 cm
Category
Film Studies
Table of Contents
Show Table of ContentsHide Table of Contents
Introduction: Avant-Garde, Advertising and the Managing of Multiplicity 1. Absolute Advertising: Abstraction and Figuration in Ruttmann’s Animated Product Advertisements (1922-1927) 2. The Cross-Section: Images of theWorld and Contingency Management in Ruttmann’s Montage Films of the Late 1920s (1927-1929) 3. Statistics and Biopolitics: Conceiving the National Body in Ruttmann’s Hygiene Films (1930-1933) 4. ŸÜberall StahlŒ: Forming the New Nation in Ruttmann’s Steel and Armament Films (1934-1940) Afterword: Of Good and Bad Objects Notes Bibliography Filmograph Index of Names Index of Film Titles Index of Subjects

Reviews and Features

"A veritable hothouse of modernity, the singular film career of Walter Ruttmann spans advertising films, Weimar era experiments, big city symphonies, industrial and medical shorts, Kulturfilme, and Nazi propaganda. Cowan's impressive book is keenly attentive to historical materials, ever acute in its close analyses, and extraordinarily mindful of this cinema's pertinence for current debates about media culture and mass society. Indeed, this exemplary study rises admirably and persuasively to the many challenges posed by Ruttmann's imposing body of work." -- Eric Rentschler, Harvard University

"In the first book on Walter Ruttmann in English, Michael Cowan tackles this major but apparently paradoxical filmmaker: an innovator of abstract animation who also directed one the most influential documentaries; leader of Weimar avant-garde film culture who ended up making propaganda films for the Nazis. With critical insight and a firm sense of cultural history, Cowan not only details Ruttmann's complex career, but uncovers its complex dynamics by providing a new account of both twenties experimental film and Third Reich cinema." -- Tom Gunning, University of Chicago

'[An] extremely well-written book and inspiring analysis of Ruttmann's work.' - Eva Hielscher, Ghent University, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 35 (2), June 2015

Michael Cowan

Walter Ruttmann and the Cinema of Multiplicity

Avant-Garde Film - Advertising - Modernity

A key figure in early avant-garde cinema, Walter Ruttmann was a pioneer of experimental animation and the creative force behind one of the silent era's most celebrated montage films, Berlin: Symphony of a Great City. Yet even as he was making experimental films, Ruttmann had a day job. He worked regularly in advertising -and he would go on to make industrial films, medical films, and even Nazi propaganda films.

Michael Cowan offers here the first study of Ruttmann in English, not only shedding light on his commercial, industrial, and propaganda work, but also rethinking his significance in light of recent transformations in film studies. Cowan brilliantly teases out the linkages between the avant-garde and industrial society in the early twentieth century, showing how Ruttmann's films incorporated and enacted strategies for managing the multiplicities of mass society.

This book has won the Willy Haas Award 2014 for its outstanding contribution to the study of German cinema.
Author

Michael Cowan

Michael Cowan is Professor and Chair in the Department of Cinematic Arts at the University of Iowa. He is the author of several books, including the multiple award-winning Walter Ruttmann and the Cinema of Multiplicity (Amsterdam UP, 2014). His work brings together cultural history and media archaeology to examine European film cultures in relation to the broader forces of mass modernity.