Walter Ruttmann biography

Walter Ruttmann

Film director

1887 – 1941


Who was Walter Ruttmann?

Walter Ruttmann was a German film director and along with Hans Richter, Viking Eggeling and Oskar Fischinger was an early German practitioner of experimental film.

Ruttmann was born in Frankfurt am Main; he studied architecture and painting and worked as a graphic designer. His film career began in the early 1920s. His first abstract short films, "Lichtspiel: Opus I" and "Opus II", were experiments with new forms of film expression, and the influence of these early abstract films can be seen in some of the early work of Oskar Fischinger. Ruttmann and his colleagues of the avant garde movement enriched the language of film as a medium with new form techniques.

Ruttmann was a prominent exponent of both avant-garde art and music. His early abstractions played at the 1929 Baden-Baden Festival to international acclaim despite their being almost eight years old. Ruttmann licensed a Wax Slicing machine from Oskar Fischinger to create special effects for Lotte Reiniger. Together with Erwin Piscator, he worked on the experimental film Melodie der Welt, though he is best remembered for Berlin: Die Sinfonie der GroƟstadt.


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Dec 28, 1887
Also known as
  • Walter Ruttman
  • Ruttmann, Walter
  • Walther Ruttmann
  • Germany
Jul 15, 1941

on July 23, 2013

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