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Ballet mécanique (1924)

6.8
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Reviews: 15 user | 5 critic

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, ... See full summary »

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Title: Ballet mécanique (1924)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Fernand Léger
Dudley Murphy
Katherine Murphy
Katrin Murphy ...
Girl with a flower
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Storyline

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. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short

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Details

Country:

Release Date:

24 September 1924 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Balet mechaniczny  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Kiesler)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Lesson of Polish Cinema (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballet Mecanique
by George Antheil
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An excellent surrealist short, somewhat ahead of it's time
15 September 2010 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

This excellent surrealist short is a highly imaginative montage of images of people interspersed with machinery. It doesn't have any narrative whatsoever; instead it concentrates on presenting images in a variety of interesting ways. It's more about one central idea – the connection between man and his machines – being expanded on and expressed through an avant-garde art film; in this case via the styles of Surrealism and Dada. The steady pace mimics the mechanised tempo of the machinery depicted in the film. The images themselves are highly imaginative, incorporating a variety of camera trickery and optical illusions, coupled with repeated shots, way before Andy Warhol had similar ideas. It's overall, a very beautiful and compelling presentation. For anybody at all interested in 1920's art films, this is a must. It's well worth 15 minutes of your time.


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