Abstract film is a subgenre of experimental film. Its history often overlaps with the concerns and history of visual music. Some of the earliest abstract motion pictures known to survive are those produced by a group of German artists working in the early 1920s, a movement referred to as Absolute Film: Walter Ruttmann, Hans Richter, Viking Eggeling and Oskar Fischinger. These artists present different approaches to abstraction-in-motion: as an analogue to music, or as the creation of an absolute language of form, a desire common to early abstract art. Ruttmann wrote of his film work as 'painting in time.'Walt Disney used abstract animation for his film Fantasia during the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor segment.
Abstract films are non-narrative visual/sound experiences with no story and no acting. They rely on the unique qualities of motion, rhythm, light and composition inherent in the technical medium of cinema to create emotional experiences.
- Absolute film
- Color organ
- Drawn-on-film animation
- Experimental film
- Non-narrative film
- Pure cinema
- Visual music
- James, David. The Most Typical Avant-Garde [UC Press]
- Malcolm Le Grice, Abstract Film and Beyond. [MIT Press, 1981]
- William Moritz, Optical Poetry. [Indiana University Press, 2004]
- Sitney, P. Adams, Visionary Film [Oxford University Press, 2002]
- William Wees, Light Moving in Time. [University of California Press, 1992]
- Andreas Weiland, Hamburg Memories [review of 3 films by Malcolm Le Grice, and by other experimental filmmakers], in: ART IN SOCIETY, No. 3 (http://www.art-in-society.de/AS3/Weiland/Hamburg.shtml)
- Bassan, Raphaël, Cinema and abstraction : from Bruno Corra to Hugo Verlinde [Senses of Cinema, No. 61, December 2011] (http://www.sensesofcinema.com/2011/feature-articles/cinema-and-abstraction-from-bruno-corra-to-hugo-verlinde/)