6.7/10
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17 user 7 critic

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
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User Reviews

BALLET MECANIQUE {Short} (Fernand Léger and, uncredited, Dudley Murphy, 1924) **1/2
12 January 2014 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This one is available online bearing various running-times (the longest being 18 minutes); for the record, the print on Kino's DVD edition within their 2-Disc collection AVANT-GARDE: EXPERIMENTAL CINEMA OF THE 1920s AND '30s is a mere 11 minutes, with the one I eventually settled on for this review clocking at 16!

It is among the more famous efforts in that set and one which boasts the approval (as per the opening scrolling text) of none other than Sergei M. Eisenstein as among the rare(?!) masterpieces of French cinema, while "Charlot" (i.e. Charles Chaplin as he was known in France) is given an early "presents" credit! In retrospect, the Russian master of film montage must have surely appreciated its rapid-fire cutting and industrial aptitude (in keeping with his Communist beliefs). That said, the most lasting image here depicts a chubby woman being repeatedly made to go up and down the stairs.


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Details

Official Sites:

DVD

Country:

France

Language:

None

Release Date:

24 September 1924 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Balet mechaniczny See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Synchro-Ciné See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Kiesler)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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