This book examines post-war surrealist cinema in relation to surrealism’s change in direction towards myth and magic following World War II. Intermedial and interdisciplinary, the book unites cinema studies with art history and the study of Western esotericism, closely engaging with a wide range of primary sources, including surrealist journals, art, exhibitions, and writings. Kristoffer Noheden looks to the Danish surrealist artist Wilhelm Freddie’s forays into the experimental short film, the French poet Benjamin Péret’s contribution to the documentary film L’Invention du monde, the Argentinean-born filmmaker Nelly Kaplan’s feature films, and the Czech animator Jan Svankmajer’s work in short and feature films. The book traces a continuous engagement with myth and magic throughout these films, uncovering a previously unknown strain of occult imagery in surrealist cinema. It broadens the scope of the study of not only surrealist cinema, but of surrealism across the art forms. Surrealism, Cinema, and the Search for a New Myth will appeal to film scholars, art historians, and those interested in the impact of occultism on modern culture, film, and the arts.
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