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About this Piece

While commonly associated with German Expressionism and narrative film, Weimar cinema is considered equally influential in the realm of the avant-garde. From Dadaist art to city symphonies to abstract experiments with animated shapes and colors, Weimar cinema constantly broke new ground. Our program offers a sampling of these styles, including Walter Ruttmann’s landmark film Berlin, Symphony of a Great City, and illustrates its lasting impact on modern cinema both in the art world and beyond.

This program begins with director Walter Ruttmann’s short Lichtspiel Opus III (1924, 4 min. DCP), the penultimate segment in his series of groundbreaking animated experiments. It features a score composed by Hanns Eisler, which will be expanded at Walt Disney Concert Hall’s Blue Ribbon Garden as a 12-channel sound installation by Susan Philipsz.

The program also includes Hans Richter’s eerie Ghosts before Breakfast (1928, 9 min. 16mm), a famous Dadaist montage of everyday items inexplicably coming to life, as well as multimedia artist Oliver Laric’s untitled animated short film (2014, 6 min. digital), which recalls the avant-garde stylizations of Weimar cinema.