Leda und der Schwan (1964)

Kurt Kren's Leda and the Swan is one of the most densely constructed of all Kren's Aktion films. Based on the poem by Yeats it features some unforgettable and disturbing imagery. The almost convulsive use of juxtaposition and the captured gesture assume a erotic sensitivity, though the action itself was primarily a gradual destruction of the erotic.
The film retains the classical motif, portraying, for most of its duration, a young woman embracing a swan.

Kren's editing leads to many interlocking continuous shots; central takes recur like a leitmotif, circular motion and networking can be observed throughout the film. Kren painstakingly weaves the fury in front of his camera lens into dense geometrical figures. Shot/countershot sequences alternate, jumping back and forth between single frames, they turn the Actionist turmoil into ornaments, rigid geometrical patterns, the equivalent in time to what Mondrian used to distill on canvas in space.
Appreciating Kurt Kren's films is not a question of dissecting his technique, recognising their richness of innovation or analyzing their rhythm. To understand these film it is not necessary to see through them but to feel and perceive them as real.

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