6.7/10
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Ballet mécanique (1924)

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 »

Directors:

Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy (uncredited)

Writer:

Fernand Léger
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Kiki of Montparnasse Kiki of Montparnasse ... Smiling Girl (uncredited)
Fernand Léger Fernand Léger ... (uncredited)
Dudley Murphy ... (uncredited)
Katherine Murphy Katherine Murphy ... (uncredited)
Katrin Murphy Katrin Murphy ... Girl with a Flower (uncredited)
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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>

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Genres:

Short

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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Antheil was largely supported by the American expatriate writer and publisher Robert McAlmon while he composed the "Ballet Mecanique." McAlmon also provided the piano. See more »

Alternate Versions

There are various existing versions of this film. However, the one thought to be closest to the version premiered in Vienna in 1924 is a print found in 1975 by Lillian Kiesler, widow of Frederick Kiesler, who arranged the premiere. This version has been preserved by Anthology Film Archives of New York. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Northfork (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballet Mecanique
by George Antheil
See more »

User Reviews

 
An excellent surrealist short, somewhat ahead of it's time
15 September 2010 | by Red-BarracudaSee 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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Details

Official Sites:

DVD

Country:

France

Release Date:

24 September 1924 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Balet mechaniczny See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Synchro-Ciné See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Kiesler)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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