Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ballet Mécanique - 1924

Country: France
Directors: Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy
Writer: Fernand Léger
Stars: Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy and Katherine Murphy
Also known as: Balet mechaniczny (Poland), Charlot présente le ballet mécanique (France),  Gépi balett (Hungary)
Runtime: 19 min  | 16 min (Kiesler version) (20 fps)
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Surrealism | Abstract Film | Dada | Avant Garde | Experimental Film
Genres: Short
A pulsing, kaleidoscope of images set to an energetic soundtrack. A young women swings in a garden; a woman's face smiles. The rest is spinning cylinders, pistons, gears and turbines, kitchen objects in concentric circles or rows - pots, pan lids, and funnels, cars passing overhead, a spinning carnival ride. Over and over, a heavy-set woman climbs stairs carrying a large bag on her shoulder. An Art Deco cartoon figure appears, dancing. This is a world in motion, dominated by mechanical and repetitive images, with a few moments of solitude in a garden. 
George Antheil wrote the score for this film, but due to various disagreements - including that Antheil's original version of the music ran 30 minutes while the film was only 16 minutes - the film was premiered without the original music. The film and music were first shown together on 25 August 2000 in Antwerp, Belgium, at the Cultuurmarkt van Vlaanderen. The film print with music was created by Paul Lehrman.
Referenced in Lekcja polskiego kina (2002)
 -  mentioned in Northfork (2003), Bad Boy Made Good: The Revival of George Antheil's 1924 Ballet Mécanique (2003)
Featured in "Fejezetek a film történetéböl: Az európai film kezdetei (#1.2)" (1989)
"Ballet Mecanique" by George Antheil

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