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Emak-Bakia (1927)

 |  Short  |  6 March 1927 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 752 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

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 »

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Title: Emak-Bakia (1927)

Emak-Bakia (1927) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kiki of Montparnasse ...
Girl with painted eyes
Jacques Rigaut
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Storyline

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 drives along country roads. Farm animals. She descends from the car, again and again. Images: dancing legs, seashore, swimming fish, geometric shapes, cut glass. A man removes his starched collar. It rotates. A girl has garishly painted eyes. No, she's only fooling. Those were her eyelids. Written by David Carless

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Short

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6 March 1927 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The title of this film means "leave me alone" in Basque. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Search for Emak Bakia (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
true experimentalism
10 May 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of Man Ray's most well-known short films is without any clear classification, with the subtitle "Cinepoeme". There's no 'plot' to speak of, certainly without any clear human "characters"; with the Starfish a couple years later one could say there were some more identifiable people in that than here. For this film, the first shot is a man behind the camera looking out (one can see his eye in the lens I think), and then it's... lots of squiggly lines going by really fast (a precursor to Brakhage shorts), flowers, animated nails, and then... people walking, their legs, a banjo and dancing, on a beach somewhere, the ocean, fish, and a woman's face as she may or may not be in the midst of a dream.

In other words, there's no real way to say what this is 'about', more that it's one of those poetic expressions with the camera and editing in use for the flow. I have to wonder of Man Ray wrote this out as a poem first, and then just went about, as if a documentarian, finding the sights and sounds to correspond with what he wanted to lay down. Later in the short there's warped images of diamonds and objects that are hard to make out. And in the end the most memorable part comes with a woman who's eye-lids are painted to look like eyes. All of it is of a piece, and most of it's beautiful and curious in a beguiling way, while some of it just goes by so quickly that it seems more like Man Ray trying to see what things look like through a camera. At the end of the day, it's all for the beholder. Good or bad, it's art.


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