List of avant-garde films of the 1940s

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A list of avant-garde and experimental films released in the 1940s.

Title Director Cast Country Subgenre/Notes
1941
Who Has Been Rocking My Dream Boat Kenneth Anger United States Lost film.[1]
Moods of the Sea Slavko Vorkapić, John Hoffman United States Black & white, sound (Felix Mendelssohn: The Hebrides (overture)[2]
1942
Lambeth Walk - Nazi Style Charles A. Ridley United Kingdom British propaganda short, which "remixes" marching Nazis to a pop song.[3]
Tinsel Tree Kenneth Anger United States Lost film[4]
1943
The Geography of the Body Willard Maas Willard Maas, Marie Menken United States Film poem, text written and read by George Barker (poet)[5][6]
Meshes of the Afternoon Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid United States Black & white; sound by composer Teiji Ito added in 1959. Established the movement known as "New American Cinema."[7][8]
The Witch's Cradle Maya Deren, Marcel Duchamp Marcel Duchamp, Pajarito Matta United States Black & white; silent. Never finished; survives as workprint or gathering of trims.[9][10]
1944
At Land Maya Deren Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid, Parker Tyler, John Cage United States [11]
1945
A Study in Choreography for Camera Maya Deren Talley Beatty United States [12]
Visual Variations on Noguchi Marie Menken United States [13]
Out-Takes From a Study in Choreography for Camera Maya Deren Talley Beatty United States [14]
1946
Ritual in Transfigured Time Maya Deren Maya Deren, Rita Christiani, Frank Westbrook, Anaïs Nin United States [15]
The Potted Psalm Sidney Peterson, James Broughton Beatrix Perry, Harry Honig United States Live action surrealist short.[16]
1947
Dreams That Money Can Buy Hans Richter Max Ernst United States [17]
Forest Murmurs Slavko Vorkapić, John Hoffman United States Black & white, sound; made for MGM, but withheld from release. Jacobs dates it to 1941; most other sources give 1947.[18]
The Cage Sidney Peterson United States [citation needed]
Fireworks Kenneth Anger Kenneth Anger, Bill Seltzer, Gordon Gray United States [19]
Lady in the Lake Robert Montgomery Robert Montgomery, Audrey Totter United States [20]
Motion Painting No. 1 Oskar Fischinger United States [21]
Transmutation Jordan Belson United States Belson's first film, shown at Art in Cinema screenings in San Francisco in the early '50s; lost film.[22]
1948
Meditation on Violence Maya Deren Chao Li Chi United States [23]
The Petrified Dog Sidney Peterson Gail Randall, Marie Hirsh, Jo Landor United States [24][25]
Weegee's New York Weegee United States [26][27]
1949
The Lead Shoes Sidney Peterson United States [citation needed]
Christmas, U.S.A. Gregory Markopoulos United States [citation needed]
Pacific 231 Jean Mitry [28]
Medusa Maya Deren [29]
Puce Moment Kenneth Anger United States [30]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sitney, P. Adams (2002). Visionary Film: The American Avant Garde 1943-2000 third edition. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 84. ISBN 0-19-514885-1. 
  2. ^ Horak, Jan Christopher (1995). Lovers of Cinema: The First American Film Avant-Garde, 1919-1945. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 38. ISBN 0-299-14680-4. 
  3. ^ Public Domain Review, "Lambeth Walk - Nazi Style" [1]
  4. ^ Lewis, David. "Tinsel Tree". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ P. Adams Sitney, "Visionary Film: The American Avant-Garde 1943–2000. Oxford University Press, 2002 pg. 75
  6. ^ Lewis, David. "Geography of the Body". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  7. ^ MOMA Object Page [2]
  8. ^ Lux Entry [3]
  9. ^ Dangerous Minds: ‘The Witch’s Cradle’: Watch Maya Deren and Marcel Duchamp’s stunning occult short [4]
  10. ^ Charney, Leo. "Meshes of the Afternoon". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  11. ^ Lewis, David. "At Land". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  12. ^ Lewis, David. "A Study in Choreography for Camera". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  13. ^ Lewis, David. "Visual Variations on Noguchi". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  14. ^ Lewis, David. "A Study in Choreography for Camera". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  15. ^ Lewis, David. "Ritual in Transfigured Time". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  16. ^ [5] MUBI entry
  17. ^ Erickson, Hal. "Dreams That Money Can Buy". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  18. ^ Lewis Jacobs, "Experimental Cinema in America II," Hollywood Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 3, Spring 1948, reprinted in Smoodin, Eric Loren; Martin, Ann (2002). Hollywood Quarterly: Film Culture in Postwar America, 1945-1957. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. p. 43. ISBN 0-520-23274-7. 
  19. ^ Crow, Jonathan. "Fireworks". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  20. ^ Jake Hinkson -- Through the Camera's Eye: Experiments with Subjective Camera in Film Noir [6]
  21. ^ "Motion Painting No. 1". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  22. ^ Experimental Cinema -- Jordan Belson [7]
  23. ^ "Meditation on Violence". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  24. ^ The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre review [8]
  25. ^ The Sound of Eye: The Petrified Dog [9]
  26. ^ Visionary Film: Weegee [10]
  27. ^ ICP: Weegee's New York [11]
  28. ^ "Pacific 231". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  29. ^ Lewis, David. "Medusa". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013. 
  30. ^ Lewis, David. "Puce Moment". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 18, 2013.