Entr'acte (film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Entr'acte is the title of a 1924 French silent surrealist film by René Clair. It premiered on November 27, 1924 as an entr'acte for the Ballets suédois ballet production Relâche at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. The music for both the ballet and the film was composed by Erik Satie, it was his final piece.

For this production, the dadaists collaborating on the project had invented a new flavor of dada or surrealism: 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 of Francis Picabia, Erik Satie, Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. The conductor of the orchestra at the premiere was Roger Désormière.

The film is included on the Criterion Collection DVD of Clair's film À nous la liberté (1931). 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 was played at the beginning of the ballet, right after the little ouverture ("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 music to film synchronization. In the score, Satie names 10 sections that are associated with scenes in the film.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Entr'acte (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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