René Clair

S. e Sc.: Francis Picabia. Adattamento: René Clair. F.: Jimmy Berliet. Ass.R.: Georges Lacombe. In.: Jean Borlin, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Erik Satie, Marcel Achard, Pierre Scize, Louis Touchagues, Rolf de Maré, Roger Lebon, Mamy, Georges Charensol, M.lle Friis. P.: Rolf de Maré.
35mm. D.: 16′ a 18 f/s.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Picabia didn’t miss out on the chance to goad future spectators by writing on the program: “I prefer to hear yells than applause”. On Satie’s part, after stating that he had composed a piece of pornographic music for us guys, he softened the remark by adding that he had no intention to make either a lobster or an egg blush. […] From the very first images, a clamor of sneers and mumbles arose from the crowd of spectators, and a slight shudder ran through the rows. Thus the storm was heralded, and soon it broke out. Picabia, who had hoped to hear the audience, could consider himself completely satisfied. Noise and whistling blended with the melodic tomfoolery produced by Satie, who, as an expert in the field, most likely appreciated the sonorous reinforcement provided by the protests. […]  An unflappable Roger Désormière, with disheveled hair and a severe expression, seemed to simultaneously direct the orchestra and set off a hurricane of tricks with his imperious wand. And so was born, in sound and frenzy, this small film that, in the end, won applause, howls and whistles in equal parts.

René Clair, in Cinéma d’hier, Cinéma d’aujourd’hui, Paris, Gallimard, 1970

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