LikeTelevision proudly presents Fernand Leger's remarkable 1924 short film Ballet Mechanique. Fernand Leger was one of the greatest French Cubist painters (do a google image search of his name) and a contemporary of Pablo Picasso. In the early days of film as an artform, Leger created this masterpiece - which is landmark film in the development of montage, a cinematic tool that juxtiposes two or more images to infer related ideas or events. The best known example is Sergei Eisenstein's scene from Battleship Potemkin - the Odessa Steps segment with the baby carriage rolling down the steps and the mother's eyeglasses - made a year after this film.
Directed by - Fernand Leger, Dudley Murphy
(1924) - B&W - 15 min
The film also explores many Cubist themes - especially beautiful is the subtle use of black and white tones. But the most remarkable aspect of the film is the musical syncopation with the score written by George Antheil. The music is just terrific - perhaps the earliest example of what we now call Industrial. Of Fernand Leger's many paintings also indulged in Industrial type themes - and the concept that all these machines were taking the human nature out of humanity. In amny ways - this short film reminds me of a super fast paced Metropolis and I suspect Fritz Lang was greatly inspired by this very memorable piece of art.
Intro, B&W - this is a very fast paced film that just pumps to the music. For the day - there are an insane amount of edits - each one done by hand with a primitive splicer. Wow - an amazing piece of work... and a ton of just plain hard work too.
Legs kicking and dancing in all kinds of directions
This lady and her bizarre smile will delight you. She sure puts on her lipstick in a funny way - whew!
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One of Fernand Leger's painting even starts to dance and pump to the groove