Surf and Seaweed - Ralph Steiner

Rental Format(s): Digital File

Maker: Ralph Steiner
Original format: 35mm silent film 1.33:1
Music 1931 Marc Blitzstein. Adapted and performed 2005 by Eric Beheim
Courtesy Ralph Steiner, Boosey and Hawkes, Marc Blitzstein Paper Collection, Wisconsin State Historical Society, and Estate of Marc Blitzstein.

Steiner is interested in film's capacity to invigorate everyday sight, to alert viewers to the simple, magical visual pleasures available in nearly any circumstance. The film is divided into sequences that focus on specific kinds of imagery in and around ocean surf. -Scott MacDonald

Marc Blitzstein's original chamber music score was prepared by the composer under commission by Alma Wertheimer for the 1931 Coplan/Sessions' Film and Music program at the Broardhurst Theatre, NYC. -Bruce Posner

In the mid-1920s, Marc Blitzstein (1905-1964) continued his classical music training with Schoenberg in Berlin, and in Paris with N. Boulanger. His film scores for Hände (1926-27) and Surf and Seaweed (1931) were composed in close collaboration with the filmmakers. He also worked on Valley Town (1940) and Native Land (1937-41). -Jennifer Wild

Educated at Dartmouth, Ralph Steiner (1899-1986) became a successful commercial and much honored fine art photographer. He made perhaps the first American abstract film, H2O (1929), following it with other experiments, some political in nature, some in Hollywood. Steiner also photographed with Paul Strand The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936) and co-directed and photographed The City (1939) with Willard Van Dyke and Henwar Rodakiewicz. -Robert A. Haller

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