- giovedì 20 gennaio 2011

René Claire - ENTR'ACTE 1924

Entr’acte 1924. France. Directed by René Clair

Charles Sheeler comes to mind as one of the few American artists who dabbled in film in the 1920s. Whereas in Germany the mainstream Expressionist cinema was itself avant-garde, and in Italy the society became surreal following Mussolini’s rise to power in 1922, France presented a unique instance of a free interplay of filmmakers with other visual artists. This program is an attempt to capture some of this interaction and to suggest how it might have benefited French culture. It also suggests that a society where the movies were totally dominated neither by commerce nor by the state provided an appealing model. It was certainly beneficial to Iris Barry, the founder of The Museum of Modern Art Film Library, to be able to cite names like Man Ray, Duchamp, Léger, and Dalí in establishing the high aspirations and legitimacy of film when appealing for funds from patrons who might look askance at Douglas Fairbanks, Charles Chaplin, or Walt Disney. (It was left for us future generations to make cogent arguments for Otto Preminger, Clint Eastwood, and John Waters.)

Among the dabblers were Man Ray (1890–1976), Fernand Léger (1881–1955), and Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968). Man Ray, an expatriate American photographer, actually made several films, of which we are showing only his first and briefest, Le Retour a la Raison (1923). His films are determinedly non-narrative and “poetic,” pointing the way to the later experimental cinema of Stan Brakhage and a host of others, many working on the fringes of the Hollywood behemoth. Léger’s Ballet Mecanique (1924) was made with Dudley Murphy, an intriguingly enigmatic American who would wander in and out of film history, directing people like Bessie Smith and Paul Robeson along the way. Léger shared Buster Keaton’s obsession with modern machinery, although perhaps the film’s most enduring image is an homage to Chaplin. Even though Duchamp directed only the short Anemic Cinema (1926), he made frequent appearances in other films, including Rene Clair’s Entr’acte (1924). All three of these men used film to expand their artistic concepts, but, in my view, did little or nothing to alter the course of the medium itself.

Fonte Moma.org Continue reading here ...

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento