Ballet mécanique (1924)

Leger was the first of the Cubists to experiment with non-figurative abstraction, contrasting curvilinear forms against a rectilinear grid. In 1924 he made a 'film without scenario', Ballet Mecanique, in which he contrasted machines and inanimate objects with humans and their body parts. The film was premiered by Frederick Kiesler in Vienna on September 24 1924. The original version of Antheil's music ran almost 30 minutes, and a married print of film and music was not made until 2000 by sound engineer and composer Paul Lehrman.
This masterpiece is a landmark film in the development of montage, a cinematic tool that juxtiposes two or more images to infer related ideas or events. The film also explores many Cubist themes, among which the concept that all machines were taking human nature out of humanity.

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