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From Joseph Vogelsang and his mysterious peep-box to Hollywood blockbusters and Netflix, R.A. Savoldelli’s survey of cinema and film is based on practical experience – he was once the enfant terrible of Swiss cinema – and years of contemplation and study. He examines the difference between film as the ‘hypnotic monster’ referred to by the Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, and the art of film that Rudolf Steiner aspired to. The author depicts the historical development of cinema from its origins, paying particular attention to science fiction – from Star Wars to The Matrix – and influential filmmakers such as Eric Rohmer, Andrei Tarkovsky and Pasolini.
As a scholar of anthroposophy, Savoldelli gives a comprehensive assessment of Rudolf Steiner’s attitude to film. In addition to frequenting the silent cinema of his time, Steiner made several statements about the new artform in his lectures, letters and private discussions. The author examines and interprets these and complements them with commentary on Steiner’s attempt to produce a film on the theme of reincarnation and karma as well as his explorations with Jan Stuten of ‘light-show art’. Other topics in this penetrating study include: ‘Basic philosophical stances in the pioneer period of media studies’; ‘Steiner’s prophetic warnings about a technocratic form of civilization that will destroy humanity’; ‘Nostalgia for the art-house cinema that emerged in the 60s’; and ‘The project discussed by Alexander Kluge and Andrei Tarkovsky for a film based on Rudolf Steiner’s From the Akashic Records’. Anyone interested in the cinematic arts will find a treasure of stimulating ideas and new thought in this unique book.
RETO ANDREA SAVOLDELLI was born in Solothurn, Switzerland in 1949. He is a director and actor, best known for his films Stella da Falla (1972) and Lydia (1969). In his early years he was celebrated as a top talent of auteur film, having been commissioned by Swiss television to make a film (Lydia) of which he had written the screenplay. Aged 22, his film Stella da Falla was the official Swiss entry to the Locarno Film Festival. He trained in Eurythmy under Elena Zuccoli at the Goetheanum, Swizerland. From 1981, he developed Gideon Spicker Verlag, where he was responsible for the publishing of Herbert Witzenmann’s writings. Today he heads Das Seminar – Sozialästhetische Schulungsstätte, Basel, founded by Witzenmann in 1973. Having co-founded the Solothurn Steiner school, he later taught seven different subjects within the Basel State School. He is the father of three daughters.
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