This film remains one of the most influential experimental works in the history of cinema. The only film made directly by the artist Fernand Léger, it demonstrates his concern during this period—shared with many other artists of the 1920s—with the mechanical world. In Léger’s vision, however, this mechanical universe has a very human face. […] In Ballet méchanique, repetition, movement, and multiple imagery combine to animate and give an aesthetic raison d’être to the clockwork structure of everyday life. The visual pleasures of kitchenware—wire whisks and funnels, copper pots and lids, tinned and fluted baking pans—are combined with images of a woman carrying a heavy sack on her shoulder, condemned like Sisyphus (but through a cinematic sense of wit) to climb and reclimb a steep flight of stairs on a Paris street.
Anthiel was the one musician whom the Surrealists accepted. He said, “The Surrealist movement had, from the very beginning, been my friend. In one of its manifestoes it had been declared that all music was unbearable – excepting, possibly, mine – a beautiful and appreciated condescension.”1 Anthiel’s score was intended to accompany the film; however, the score was thirty minutes long, while the film was about nineteen. The premier of the film didn’t include the score. It was never shown with Anthiel’s music until the 1990s.
George Anthiel, Bad Boy of Music (New York: Da Capo Press, 1981), 300; quoted in Anne LeBaron, “Reflections of Surrealism in Postmodern Music,” Studies in Contemporary Music and Culture: Postmodern Music / Postmodern Thought 4 (2002), 31. ↩
I haven’t listened to an entire Weird Al album since Alapalooza, because that was the last time I was fifteen, but I’ve always made a point to listen to the polka medleys on each new release, because he’s generally a fine mashup artist and occasionally an incisive pop critic. Yesterday I listened to the new one and grinned my way through it as usual, until it hit “Get Lucky,” when I unexpectedly burst into tears, and continued sobbing for a couple minutes after the song had ended. I have a couple of theories as to why, but I don’t want this to be that kind of blog any more.
Covers and pinups by Dick Matena for his Grote Pyr, a series that ran in the Dutch children’s comics magazine Pep between 1971 and 1975.
(Over the next week or so I’m going to be doing a series of posts on Dutch children’s comics of the period, particularly the ones that branch out from the classic Franco-Belgian tradition in interesting ways; apologies if you understandably don’t care about this white-people shit.)
I’ve seen a few fashion posts trying to expand the “Marie Antoinette is not Victorian” rant, but this stuff can get complicated, so here is a semi-comprehensive list so everyone knows exactly when all of these eras were.
Please note that this is very basic and that there are sometimes subcategories (especially in the 17th century, Jacobean, Restoration, etc)
And people wonder WHY I complain about History/Art History periodization. Note how much overlap there is to the above “eras”, and how many exceptions and extensions there are to these categories.
Oh, and by the way…
Because you wouldn’t want to be historically inaccurate.