[NetBehaviour] Edvard Munch's own film recordings

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Apr 30 15:14:59 CEST 2012

Hi Manik,

 >...When we have opportunity to see how was Munch's excitement in making
 >movie our extension trough time became more richer...We never thought 
 >could make movie!!!...Thank's

Thanks :-)

Until today, I also did not know that Munch made movies...

This is an extra dimension, adding more context to his paintings & 
drawings, when showing how he viewed the world through a movie lens.

wishing you well.


 > ...When we have opportunity to see how was Munch's excitement in making
 > movie our extension trough time became more richer...We never thought 
 > could make movie!!!...Thank's...MANIK...APRIL...2012...
 > ----- Original Message -----
 > From: "marc garrett" <marc.garrett at furtherfield.org>
 > To: "NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity"
 > <netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
 > Sent: Monday, April 30, 2012 1:40 PM
 > Subject: [NetBehaviour] Edvard Munch's own film recordings
 > Edvard Munch's own film recordings
 > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ6Hl7DeIdU&feature=share#
 > The Painter with a Movie Camera
 > It was quite a surprise when a moving picture camera was brought to the
 > Munch Museum several years ago. It was a so-called Pathé-Baby with a 9,5
 > mm. film cassette and a projector in a specially made traveller's case.
 > The advanced traveller's camera was said to have belonged to Edvard
 > Munch, a fact confirmed by a viewing of the four accompanying films,
 > which had originally been developed at Nerlien's in Oslo.
 > In connection with Munch's exhibition of Honour at the National Gallery
 > in Berlin in the spring of 1927 he went on an extended trip to the
 > Continent, during which he also visited Dresden before returning to Oslo
 > in May. One of the cassette films were taken in Dresden, the other three
 > in Oslo and Aker. All the shots seem to be from that summer.
 > The film from Dresden can be identified through the shots from the
 > Schlossplatz overlooking the river Elbe and of the equestrian statue of
 > the Saxon King Albert. This is obviously Munch's first experiment in
 > cinema; and the film consists mainly of brief sequences from the centre
 > of the city. Munch seems to have been fascinated by the street life. The
 > camera has captured tramways, cars and horsedrawn carriages running in
 > all directions, dwelling on the crowd of people passing in the street,
 > and focussing on a man and woman laboriously shifting a cart. It is
 > characteristic of the reel that most people have their backs turned,
 > suggesting that they were unaware of being filmed; Munch probably sought
 > out places from where he could film in secret.
 > The next film was mainly taken in the garden of Ekely, where Munch's old
 > terrier is lying in the sunshine. Munch thought, according to Christian
 > Gierløff, that 'the soul of an old wise man had taken place in the dog'.
 > The film sweeps over the landscape anc captures a building in the
 > neighbourhood.
 > The next scene is of Dronningparken, and then from in front of the
 > Palace, but most of the film was taken at and around Karl Johan Street,
 > where he stood outside Kirkeristen filming the busy street life. Munch
 > filmed people rushing about and cars passing by, panning through 180
 > degrees. He seems to have wanted to capture the pulse of life by moving
 > the camera. He also created contrasting scenes: He stops at a menu-card
 > at the entrance of a restaurant, just as he stops at an oil and colour
 > shop to film the display through the window.
 > The fourth film shows, in sweeping movements, parts of Solveien at
 > Nordstrand, where his aunt and his sister lived. Inger's statuesque
 > figure is seen and in a brief moment the head of his aunt fills out the
 > whole picture. A longer close-up sequence of a fence rail is taken with
 > an "Impressionist" approach.
 > The last part of the film is of Munch himself at the foot of the stairs
 > at Ekely. Munch enters from the right, approaches the lens, bends down
 > and gazes directly into the lens. After this he gets up and walks slowly
 > out of the picture. Parts of his body -- for instance, a longer shot of
 > his jacket with his handkerchief in the pocket -- fill out the picture,
 > giving the scene the sense of a radical experiment.
 > Such short close-ups had been discussed by Fernand Léger the previous
 > year in his article 'A New Realism -- The Object: Its Plastic and
 > Cinematic Value'. However, the closest source of inspiration is probably
 > experimental film, which Munch must have been exposed to during his many
 > travels abroad in the years 1925-1927.
 > The Russian film artist Dziga Vertov was very much in vogue in this
 > period, having already, in a manifesto in 1922, launched a new kind of
 > documentary film: instead of fusing a plot the artist should convey
 > impressions of reality through a new kind of rythm like that of a
 > musical composer. One of Vertovs bestknown works, The Man with the Movie
 > Camera, was built up through street scenes, deliberate blurring through
 > movement, double-exposure effects, such as shots through windows, and
 > stopping at, for instance, a poster to give the effect of a still life.
 > Munch seems to have tried out exactly the same kind of effects, and his
 > camera was especially good for such sequences. Vertov was the first film
 > artist introduced in Das Kunstblatt (May 1929), perhaps his style was
 > viewed in unison with the programme of The New Objectivity.
 > From: Arne Eggum, Munch and Photography (New Haven, Yale university
 > Press, 1989)
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