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, ...
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A spiral design spins dizzily. It's replaced by a spinning disk. These two continue in perfect alternation until the end: a spiral design, a disk. Each disk is labelled and can be read as ... See full summary »
Two people stand on a road, out of focus. Seen distorted through a glass, they retire upstairs to a bedroom where she undresses. He says, "Adieu." Images: the beautiful girl, a starfish in ... See full summary »
Kiki of Montparnasse,
André de la Rivière,
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 »
Black and white rectangular images fade in and out of the screen. Their movement make them sometimes look like they're panning from side to side. Their movement also make the black and ... See full summary »
Mannequin hands hold a pair of dice. A castle is perched on a hilltop. Below it, a posh, modern villa. Meanwhile, far from Paris, two men with masked faces play dice in a bar. They decide ... See full summary »
Le Comte de Beaumont
A tilted figure, consisting largely of right angles at the beginning, grows by accretion, with the addition of short straight lines and curves which sprout from the existing design. The ... See full summary »
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
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 »
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 »
An excellent surrealist short, somewhat ahead of it's time
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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