Modernism's mirror : Peter Kubelka, painting, and European avant-garde film
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In this paper, I examine the influence of modernist ideas surrounding the visual arts - primarily painting - on the development of European avant-garde film. I trace this phenomenon from early cinema with an emphasis on German "graphic" filmmakers, and argue that the modernist focus on the essence of each medium reached its apex for film in the work of Peter Kubelka, whose1960 "Arnulf Rainer" is given a lengthy formal analysis. I identify the contradictions inherent in this approach, and discuss alternative modernist approaches by filmmakers such as Ernie Gehr and Michael Snow. I conclude with a synopsis of how modernist painting is once again finding itself modeled in time-based arts, this time with video and new media.