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By Pavle Levi

Cinema by means of different ability explores avant-garde endeavors to perform the cinema by utilizing the fabrics and the suggestions diversified from these normally linked to the cinematographic equipment. utilizing examples from either the old and the post-war avant-garde — Dada, Surrealism, Lettrism, “structural-materialist” movie, and extra — Pavle Levi unearths a number of strange and imaginitive ways that filmmakers, artists, and writers have reflected and created, played and reworked, the “movies” without or with without delay grounding their paintings within the fabrics of movie. The research considers artists and theorists from in all places Europe — France, Italy, Soviet Union, Germany, Hungary — however it rather foregrounds the context of the Yugoslav avant-garde. Cinema through different capacity bargains the English-language reader an intensive explication of an collection of notably Yugoslav creative phenomena, akin to the Zenithist cine-writings of the Nineteen Twenties, the proto-structural Antifilm stream of the early Sixties, and the “ortho-dialectical” film-poetry of the Seventies.

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It is here that the value of the 1920s and 1930s “cinema by other means” becomes most apparent in all its unorthodox devotion to medium-specificity. For if the Idea or the dream of cinema may, indeed, be said to have preceded and motivated the invention of the film medium, it seems equally necessary to recognize, in a true dialectical reversal (which the above practices enact), that this Idea acquired sufficient conceptual precision—that it gained its own, 31 CINEMA BY OTHER ME ANS albeit immaterial, specificity—only after the cinematographic apparatus had already been invented.

As already noted, this cinematic conglomerate of all kinds of “stuff ” contains, among other things, one of Man Ray’s Dumb Poems (fig. 8). In a particularly shaky shot that shows this opto-phonetic work, the 22 V I B R A N C Y O F M AT T E R camera acts as if it has assumed upon itself, and then further amplified, the spasms of the (camera operator’s) body attempting to utter the Dumb Poem. ” In a way, this shot emblematizes the central ambition of Man Ray’s entire film. This swiftly moving chain of often illegible images confines all signification to the rampant carnality of the cinematographic apparatus.

Eventually, operational technology is declared normative. At that point, however, the Idea of the medium is also substantially transformed: its immaterial conceptual design acquires a thus far unprecedented degree of specificity by being forever related to the structural-material dynamics of the standardized apparatus. What is more, at the point when the concept and the technology fully coincide, when the new medium has successfully been turned into a working artifact—the medium would, in some sense, also have already been excessively reified (and commodified).

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