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 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 »

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 »


Soundtracks

Ballet Mecanique
by George Antheil
See more »

User Reviews

 
Experimental.
13 April 1999 | by jeff-201See all my reviews

I would not recommend this film to anyone not interested in the cubist painter Leger, or in the dada and surrealist films of the 1920s. Fascinating for its primitive use of montage and eye-line match, the film is just an experiment with different rhythms and images. Your experience may differ grandly depending on the soundtrack that accompanies it. Most videotapes produced of the film have dinky little organ melodies that really take away from the ballet-like beauty of movement that Leger was going for. In the end, the film's value lies in its historical and fine art historical importance.


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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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