- Entr'acte (film)
"Entr'acte" (1924) is a
short filmdirected by René Clair, which premiered as an entr'actefor the Ballets Suédoisproduction "Relâche" at the Théâtre des Champs-Élyséesin Paris. "Relâche" is based on a book and with settings by Francis Picabia, produced by Rolf de Maré, and with choreography by Jean Borlin. The music for both the ballet and the film was composed by Erik Satie.
Origins and development
For this production, the Dadaists collaborating on the project invented a new mode of production:
instantanéisme. The complete film takes about 20 minutes using such techniques as watching people run in slow motion, watching things happen in reverse, looking at a ballet dancer from underneath, watching an egg over a fountain of water get shot and instantly become a bird and watching people disappear. The cast included cameo appearances by Francis Picabia, Erik Satie, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp. The conductor of the orchestra at the premierewas Roger Désormière.
The two parts of the film are as follows (note that time indications are approximate, since neither film nor music techniques at the time of the premiere allowed exact temporisation in a public performance):
*A sequence of about 90 seconds, starring Satie and Picabia firing a cannon from the top of a building. This sequence, as silent movie, was played at the beginning of the ballet, right after the "little overture" ("Ouverturette"), and before the curtain raised ("Rideau"). The music to this part of the film is called "Projectionnette", and is included as 2nd item in the Relâche partition. There appears no real effort for music to film synchronisation in this part of the film. Probably the "Projectionnette" music was played two or three times before proceeding to the "Rideau" part of the music.
*The rest of the film was played as entr'acte between the two acts of the ballet. The score for this part of the film is not included in the Relâche partition, but was written down by Satie in a separate score, titled "Cinéma". This part of the music contains "expandable" repeat zones, in order to match the start of a new tune with certain events in the film, thus it was one of the earliest examples of
musicto film synchronization. In the score, Satie names 10 sections that are associated with scenes in the film.
The film is included on the
Criterion CollectionDVD of Clair's " À Nous la Liberté" (1931).
* [http://hem.fyristorg.com/ebay/wav/entracte.rm Opening sequence available for download here] (
* [http://hem.fyristorg.com/realpiano/wav/relache.mp3 A performance of the music, 36 seconds long] (mpeg 284 KB)
* [http://hem.passagen.se/satie/relache.ram A performance of the music, 36 seconds long] (realaudio 71 KB)
* [http://www.ubu.com/film/clair_entracte.html The entire film, aprox. 22 minutes]
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0014872 "Entr'acte" at IMDB]
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