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Le Ballet
mécanique

(1924)

 

Le Ballet mécanique (1924), created by Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy.

coverImage Entertainment
2005 DVD edition

Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film (1894-1947), black & white, color-toned black & white and color, 1127 minutes total, not rated,
including Le Ballet mécanique (1924), color-toned black & white, 16 minutes, not rated.

Film Preservation Associates, distributed by Image Entertainment,
ID0592DSDVD, UPC 0-14381-05922-9.
Seven single-sided, dual-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in windowboxed 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, 5 Mbps average video bit rate, 224 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo and mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, no chapter stops; seven slimline DVD keepcases in cardboard slipcase, $99.99.
Release date: 18 October 2005.
Country of origin: USA

This edition of Le Ballet mécanique (1924) has been restored from the definitive color-toned 35mm print from the Frederick Kiesler film collection, with color inserts from the color-tinted 35mm print held by the EYE Film Instituut Nederland. The slightly windowboxed video transfer runs at a natural pace, and holds picture detail not seen in transfers from 16mm prints.

The film has been synchronized for the first time ever with the experimental George Antheil music piece in its original instrumentation of 16 player pianos, airplane propellers, electric bells, sirens, etc. Absolutely, this presentation one of the highlights of this high-quality avant-garde DVD collection.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
coverKino on Video
2005 DVD edition

Avant-Garde: Experimental Cinema of the 1920s and ’30s (1921-1947), black & white, 360 minutes total, not rated,
including Le Ballet mécanique (1924), black & white, ? minutes, not rated.

Kino International, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Two single-sided, dual-layered, Region 1 NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, English language subtitles (selected films), no chapter stops; two-disc DVD keepcase, $29.95.
Release date: 2 August 2005.
Country of origin: USA
This avant-garde collection contains one of the best presentations of Le Ballet mécanique (1924) available on home video.

The film is accompanied by a modern music score.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
coverRisqué Cinema
2005 DVD edition

Anthology of Surreal Cinema, Volume 1 (1924-1928), black & white, 65 minutes total, not rated,
including Le Ballet mécanique (1924), black & white, 15 minutes, not rated.

Risqué Cinema, RC003, unknown UPC number.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, no chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $24.95.
Release date: 26 April 2005.
Country of origin: USA

This subpar collection offers a video transfer of Le Ballet mécanique (1924) that has been prepared from a fair to good 16mm reduction print, which is contrasty, with plugged-up shadows and blasted-out highlights, moderately speckled and dusty, and marked with a few vertical scratches. The print and/or the transfer is misframed, cropping a substantial amount of the left-hand side of the picture out of the presentation.

The film is presented with, what appears to be, a custom music score performed on piano and a number of percussive instruments.

With a number of better presentations available on DVD, we recommend avoiding this release.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Other FRENCH FILMS of the silent era available on home video.

Other AVANT-GARDE FILMS of the silent era available on home video.

 
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