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Entr'acte (1924)

 -  Short  -  4 December 1924 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,897 users  
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An absolute dada movie. Somebody gets killed, his coffin gets out of control and after a chase it stops. The person gets out of it and let everybody who followed the coffin dissapear.

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Title: Entr'acte (1924)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean Börlin ...
Le chasseur au chapeau tyrolien / Le prestidigitateur
Inge Frïss ...
La ballerine (as Mlle Frïss)
Francis Picabia ...
Un homme qui charge le canon
Marcel Duchamp ...
Un joueur d'échecs
...
Un joueur d'échecs (as Man-Ray)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Darius Milhaud
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Storyline

An absolute surrealistic movie. Somebody gets killed, his coffin gets out of control and after a surrelistic chase it stops. The person gets out of it and let everybody who followed the coffin disapear. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

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Short

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Release Date:

4 December 1924 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Antrakt  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This short is featured on the Criterion Collection DVD for À Nous la Liberté (1931). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Theatre of the Absurd
2 January 2011 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

This short film was conceived (hence the title) by René Clair as a diversion for the interval of the absurdist-Dadaist ballet "Relâche", with screenplay by Francis Picabia and music by Erik Satie, both artists at the forefront of the contemporary Parisian avant-garde. At the supposed first night performance in 1924, expectant patrons were greeted by locked doors and a notice bearing the single word "Relâche", which is the French word for "No Show". How absurd! Oh what fun!

To accompany the film, Satie composed a striking piece of orchestral music (arguably more significant than that for the ballet itself), and as expected the remastered film now has this added as its soundtrack, and a pretty good job has been made of editing the music to the action on the screen. This latter consists of a medley of surrealist sequences, culminating in a funeral procession, led by a camel, which escalates into a manic chase, intercut with footage from a big dipper. At the end, all the mourners disappear into thin air one by one; the corpse lives on. How significant all this is, as a narrative itself, as well as in the history of cinema as a whole, I am not qualified to comment, but it must have been seen as groundbreaking at the time, as well as good absurdist fun.

At the start of the film is a short sequence of two men firing a cannon from the roof of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and jumping up and down, which was shown separately at the opening of the ballet, not as part of Entr'acte. The two men are Picabia and Satie themselves. This footage is especially poignant, as Satie himself was dead within a year.

For Region 2 viewers, Entr'acte is included as a bonus with Clair's much later masterpiece "Les Grandes Manoeuvres".


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