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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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short

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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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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 »

Connections

Featured in Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballet Mecanique
by George Antheil
See more »

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User Reviews

Genius - one of the greatest short films ever made.
16 April 2001 | by fabian-16See all my reviews

I was lucky enough to see 'Ballet Mécanique' some eight months ago at a screening of Dadaist films which included work by the likes of Hans Richter and Oskar Fischinger, and this stood out as being the highlight of the programme.

Certainly now one of my favourite films, Léger's vision came about as close to the ideal of synaesthesia as anyone has ever achieved - the visuals are so synchronised with the soundtrack that the filmic experience takes on an entirely new dimension, completely mesmerising the viewer.

Such is 'Ballet Mécanique' that words can do it little justice - the title alone perhaps best describes it. If you get the chance to view this rather obscure masterpiece, make sure you do.


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