Alexander Hammid - Cover

The Road Singing (1937) Aimless Walk (1930) The Road Singing (1937)

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Alexander Hammid

Alexandr Hackenschmied (Hammid) (1907-2004) is one of the most significant personalities of Czech film and photograph avant-garde. In the beginning of the 30's he was a distinct promoter of world avant-garde movements and he organized one of the first avant-garde film projections in Prague, showing various films including those of Man Ray.

While in Czechoslovakia he made several short avant-garde films (Aimless Walk, Prague Castle and others) and he co-operated as a director of photography, film editor and art advisor at many other films (The Earth Sings, November and others). He published several articles on film and photography.

After his emigration to the U.S.A. in 1933 he co-operated with an American documentary filmmaker Herbert Kline. He will be always remembered as a co-director of a film Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), which he made together with his wife Maya Deren. This film is considered to be the most essential and influential film of early American avant-garde. Later he participated on other Deren's films, as a director of photography and film editor.

After 1961 he began to co-operate with Francis Thompson. Being the co-director and film editor he created several multi-projection and IMAX films for various world exhibitions.

His work as a photographer is also worth a notice even though his photography works have been reviewed only recently. His style as a photographer was influenced by the experience he acquired while being a cameraman, and his formally pure photographs are considered to be part of the Czech New Photography (together with Jiří Lehovec, Ladislav Emil Berka, Eugen Wiškovský).

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