Scwechater (1958)

In 1957, Peter Kubelka was hired to make a short commercial for Scwechater beer. He shot his film with a camera that did not even have a viewer, simply pointing it in the general direction of the action. He then took many months to edit his footage, and finally he submitted a film, 90 seconds long, that featured extremely rapid cutting between images washed out almost to the point of abstraction of dimly visible people drinking beer and of the froth of beer seen in a fully abstract pattern.

Kubelka has taken Soviet montage one step further. While Eisenstein used shots as the basic units and edited them together in a pattern to make meanings, Kubelka has gone back to the individual still frame as the essence of cinema. The fact that a projected film consists of 24 still images per second serves as the basis of his art.
His films move with the rhapsody of precision. Nowhere else in cinema have I been so stuck to a sense of everything being just right. There are at present a multiplying number of films which use techniques similar to Kubelka's, and which attempt similar effects; but for all the experiment rampant now, his visions of absolute time transcend and show up all that is merely modern.

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