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 »
Two people stand on a road, out of focus. Seen distorted through a glass, they retire upstairs to a bedroom where she undresses. He says, "Adieu." Images: the beautiful girl, a starfish in ... See full summary »
Kiki of Montparnasse,
André de la Rivière,
A spiral design spins dizzily. It's replaced by a spinning disk. These two continue in perfect alternation until the end: a spiral design, a disk. Each disk is labelled and can be read as ... See full summary »
A long series of unrelated images, revolving, often distorted: lights, flowers, nails. A lightboard appears from time to time carrying the news of the day. Then, an eye. A woman in a car ... See full summary »
A tilted figure, consisting largely of right angles at the beginning, grows by accretion, with the addition of short straight lines and curves which sprout from the existing design. The ... See full summary »
Black and white rectangular images fade in and out of the screen. Their movement make them sometimes look like they're panning from side to side. Their movement also make the black and ... See full summary »
This short experimental film tells the story of a man who comes to Hollywood to become a star, only to fail and be dehumanized (he is identified by the number 9314 written on his forehead),... See full summary »
A couple is brutally murdered in the working-class district of Paris. Later on, the narrative follows the lives of their two daughters, both in love with a Parisian thug and leading them to separate ways.
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
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 »
Since the beginning of the invention of cinema, Europe was a good place for the most innovative filmmakers to do their work, crazed youngsters who weren't satisfied with conventional film narratives, so they needed to try new and avant-garde film experiments full of images too bizarre and incomprehensible for a conservative German count. Many times these films were influenced or had connections with other Arts, as is the case with "Ballet Mécanique" (1924), a milestone in avant-garde silent film which is influenced by cubism and directed by a painter, Herr Fernand Léger.
The film is an unconventional and unique film experience, a kind of an essay about movement, in which whirling, dazzling galleries of machines images ( pistons, gears ) and deconstructing humans ( female cubist portraits, syncopated images of different persons ) are intertwined , composing together a bizarre, surreal symphony of motion, an extravagant and experimental kaleidoscope. Such avant-garde madness wasn't exclusive to Europe because Herr Léger had the help of two Amerikan madmen, the technical assistance of Herr Dudley Murphy, director and producer and the founder of the New York Dada movement and Herr Man Ray photographer, painter and avant-garde filmmaker, who did the cinematography.
Obviously this German count is accustomed to watch classical and conventional ballets as for example Herr Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" full of elegant movements as "pas de deux", "plié", "sautés" so the first time that this Herr Graf watched Herr Léger's "Ballet Mécanique" with its organized and meaningless symphonic chaos, the soirée at the Schloss theatre was left in a state of absolute shock. Fortunately many years have passed since then and this Herr Von had the chance to know and watch more bizarre avant-garde silent films, varied and unclassifiable oeuvres that belonged to strange and different cultural movements of the last century so the second time that "Ballet Mécanique" was shown in the Schloss theatre and with such background information digested, this German count still couldn't understand the damn thing the same thing happened the third, the forth, the fifth time
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must dance a"pas de deux" with the Schloss' boiler.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?