Walter Ruttmann (born December 28, 1887 in Frankfurt am Main; died July 15, 1941 in Berlin) was a German film director and along with Hans Richter and Viking Eggling was an early German practitioner of experimental film.
Ruttmann studied architecture and painting and worked as a graphic designer. His film career began in the early 1920s. His first abstract short films, “Opus I” (1921) and “Opus II” (1923), were experiments with new forms of film expression, and the influence of these early abstract films is especially obvious in the work of Oskar Fischinger in the 1930s.
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. Together with Erwin Piscator, he worked on the experimental film "Melodie der Welt" (1929).
During the Nazi period he worked as an assistant to director Leni Riefenstahl on Triumph of the Will (1935). He died in Berlin.
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