Symphonie Diagonale

This early experimental short is one of only two films completed by Swedish-born artist Viking Eggeling, who worked in Paris, Milan, and ultimately Germany. Finished in 1924 and premiered at a November Group presentation of abstract films in Berlin in 1925 (shortly before Eggeling’s death), Diagonal Symphony utilizes paper cutouts, tin foil, and frame-by-frame photography to create a playful show in which cubist, even art deco, circles and lines dance–diagonally–across the black screen.

Cinephile Interest:
Unlike his Dadaist contemporary Hans Richter, Eggeling’s film experiments were not spontaneous creations, but carefully planned to achieve a certain effect. Insisting Symphonie Diagonale be shown without sound, the sequencing of images, movements, and rhythm were intended to produce a sensation of “visual music” in the viewer…or listener? See for yourself!

Watch ‘Symphonie Diagonale’ on Europa Film Treasures

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