Entr'acte is a 1924 French short film directed by René Clair, which premiered as an entr'acte for the Ballets Suédois production Relâche at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. Relâche is based on a book and with settings by Francis Picabia, produced by Rolf de Maré, and with choreography by Jean Börlin. The music for both the ballet and the film was composed by Erik Satie.
|Directed by||René Clair|
|Produced by||Rolf de Maré|
|Written by||René Clair|
|Music by||Erik Satie|
|Distributed by||Société Nouvelle des Acacias|
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, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Borlin (director of the Ballets Suédois), Georges Auric, and Clair himself. The conductor of the orchestra at the premiere was Roger Désormière.
The two parts of the film are as follows:
- A sequence of about 90 seconds (time indications are approximate: film and music techniques at the time of the premiere did not allow accurate timing), 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 to be no real effort to synchronise music and action 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 melody 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.