Off-screen Cinema: Isidore Isou And The Lettrist Avant-garde by Kaira M. CabañasOff-screen Cinema: Isidore Isou And The Lettrist Avant-garde by Kaira M. Cabañas

Off-screen Cinema: Isidore Isou And The Lettrist Avant-garde

byKaira M. Cabañas

Paperback | January 26, 2015

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One of the most important avant-garde movements of postwar Paris was Lettrism, which crucially built an interest in the relationship between writing and image into projects in poetry, painting, and especially cinema. Highly influential, the Lettrists served as a bridge of sorts between the earlier works of the Dadaists and Surrealists and the later Conceptual artists.

Off-Screen Cinema is the first monograph in English of the Lettrists. Offering a full portrait of the avant-garde scene of 1950s Paris, it focuses on the film works of key Lettrist figures like Gil J Wolman, Maurice Lemaître, François Dufrêne, and especially the movement's founder, Isidore Isou, a Romanian immigrant whose “discrepant editing” deliberately uncoupled image and sound. Through Cabañas's history, we see not only the full scope of the Lettrist project, but also its clear influence on Situationism, the French New Wave, the New Realists, as well as American filmmakers such as Stan Brakhage.
Kaira M. Cabañas is an art historian and visiting professor in the Departamento de Letras at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, as well as the author of The Myth of Nouveau Réalisme: Art and the Performative in Postwar France.
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Title:Off-screen Cinema: Isidore Isou And The Lettrist Avant-gardeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.6 inPublished:January 26, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022617459X

ISBN - 13:9780226174594

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Table of Contents



1 To Salivate Is Not to Speak, as Boring as Watching Dust
2 French Cinema Dies of Suffocation
3 Spasmodic Spurts of White Light on a Sphere
4 Eroticism Should Occur in the Audience


Appendix: Letters from Stan Brakhage


Selected Bibliography


Editorial Reviews

"Each of these four chapters contributes to bringing Lettrism out of its doctrinal isolation by parsing the relationships between Lettrist works and those of their contemporaries, both artists and theorists."