"This film, the first declared 'sans scenario' in its text introduction, is a collage. The swinging chrome balls, the gears of machines, the dancing bottles, the rotating disks juxtaposed with femine lips and eyes are all awaiting the female form trudging endlessly up and down the stairs with her burden. The symbols seem obvious to us in an age of technology and sexual advertisement/liberation."
(Ben Howell Davis, 1988)
Ben Howell Davis (1988). "Ballet Mécanique", from Man Ray multimedia application as referenced in Multimedia Computing, Case Studies from Project Athena, Mathew Hodges and Russell Sassnet, eds, Chapter 9, pg 117.
Fig. 1-2 Fernand Léger "La Ballet Mécanique".
Fig.3 Fernand Léger, production still from "La Ballet Mécanique 1923-24, / 35mm, black and white and colour, mono, 14 minutes, France, French Intertitles (English Subtitles) / Directors: Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy / Image courtesy: Institut Français
"A number of key features of the cine-thing begin to emerge from these related articulations. (1) Cinema is understood to grant an expressive and animated life to the normally inanimate thing. (2) These newly enlivened things stand to challenge the usually dominant position of humans with respect to the world of things; they become themselves 'nearly homogenous with man,' 'characters in the drama,' or 'the hero in most any sort of photoplay.' (3) Their personalities or physiognomies suggest an unruliness and irreverence with respect to the audience and filmmaker alike. And (4) there is a sense that cinema's ability to grant life to the thing brings with it a new visual knowledge––that by isolating objects and removing them from their familiar contexts, film allows the viewer experience the usually hidden 'construction and nonhuman life' of things."
('brookhenkel' member of class blog for the spring 2009 thing theory seminar series at Columbia University)
 Fernand Léger 1924. Ballet Mécanique (part 1)
 Fernand Léger 1924. Ballet Mécanique (part 2)
"Dreams That Money Can Buy
Berlin-born Hans Richter - Dadaist, painter, film theorist and filmmaker - was for four decades one of the most influential members of the cinematic avant-garde. Richter assembled some of the century's liveliest artists as co-creators of Dreams That Money Can Buy, his most ambitious attempt to bring the work of the European avant-garde to a wider cinema audience. Among its admirers is film director David Lynch.
Joe, a young man down on his luck, discovers he has the power to create dreams, and sets up a business selling them to others. The 'dreams' he gives to his clients are the creations of Max Ernst, Fernand Lger, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder and Richter himself, and the result is by turns playful, hypnotic, satirical, charming and nightmarish. Dreams That Money Can Buy is a film in seven segments namely:
* Desire Director, Writer - Max Ernst
* The Girl with the Prefabricated Heart Director, Writer - Fernand Léger
* Ruth, Roses and Revolvers Director, Writer - Man Ray
* Discs Director, Writer - Marcel Duchamp
* Ballet Director, Writer - Alexander Calder
* Circus Director, Writer - Alexander Calder
* Narcissus Director, Writer - Hans Richter