This fantasia of absurdist imagery flew in the face of conventional filmmaking. Dudley Murphy sought to create a "visual symphony," and that exactly what he did in this gorgeous and enigmatic collaboration of artists, made up of a series of shots of both live subjects and inanimate objects. Neither Dada or Surrealist, "Ballet mecanique" pioneered a type of film dubbed "cinema pur" - pure cinema. And it's a pleasure.
mixed figures, repetitive scenes and a disturbing music did work once upon a time, but not today especially for myself. But i appreciate the make-up, change of emotions in film and what had been done in those years was quite remarkable for the future of cinema in many aspects.
I'm struck by the way these meditations on, or drawn from, the mechanical are fast becoming archaic in our post-modern, predominantly digital ordering of life and thought and theory. Compelling, but almost in the same way as something like steampunk: Either could be the true predecessor of our age; both capture the imagination, seem equally improbable... Meh. Musings aside: The brash, relentless dance of modernity.
An arresting Dada curiosity that can't help but feel dated (a bit heavy on the kaleidoscope). Still, there are some brilliant effects in it, particularly the cross-cutting of the old and young women, not to mention the portrayal of machinery, which underlines Welles' view that cinema was the greatest toy train set a man could ever have.