The avant-garde (or experimental, or abstract) cinema of the Twenties and Thirties, though often obscure and always determinedly non-commercial, nevertheless influenced many of the filmmakers who followed, particularly in Europe. The early practitioners of experimental film included such prominent visual artists as Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Hans Richter, and Jean Cocteau. These artists and their associates saw the film medium as a means to play with time sense and visual perception in a way that painting or sculpture could not. As American abstract filmmaker Jonas Mekas noted, ”You have the possibility to give light a dimension in time.”
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