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Anémic Cinéma - #2 - mystery interpolated scenes - Rrose Sélavy-Marcel Duchamp, Unknown


Rental Format(s): Digital File

Co-makers: Rrose Sélavy-Marcel Duchamp
Assisted by Man Ray and Marc Allegret
Interpolated scenes added by creators unknown
Original format: 35mm silent film 1.33:1
New music: Donald Sosin
Courtesy: Det Danske Filminstitut

For many years, this unique version of Anémic Cinéma had scholars and critics stymied believing that prankster Duchamp had authored a new second edition. Near the end of the film, a series of well-lighted shots of a young woman are inserted along with several scenes lifted from Sergei Eisenstien's October (1928). The startling interpolation remains a mystery following Duchamp's emphatic denial that he added the enigmatic sequences. -Bruce Posner

Anémic Cinéma alternates rotating spirals with rotating verbal inscriptions to create intricate word-picture play. Duchamp's interests in puns, spatial ambiguities, alchemical ideas, verbal and visual forms, and an elusive fourth dimension are evident. The optical effect of the roto-relief is of swelling and penetration. -R. Bruce Elder

Artworks by the fictitious Rrose Sélavy (1920-1950) first appeared in 1920 and subsequently Duchamp used her as his feminine alter ego. Her name implies she is driven by erotic power; the antithesis of Duchamp's cool, cerebral character. For this reason, Duchamp attributed certain works to her. Man Ray photographed Duchamp as Rrose on numerous occasions. -R. Bruce Elder/Bruce Posner

Arguably the 20th century's greatest art iconoclast, Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) devoted his entire career to debunking pre-existing ideas about art, which he believed should appeal to the intellect rather than the senses. Encouraged by the storm of controversy sparked by his painting Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 at the 1913 Armory Show, Duchamp moved to New York in 1915. He was extremely active in the fledgling American avant-garde, editing several Dada magazines, inventing word games and puns, and designating ordinary objects as "readymade" works of art. During this period, he cemented a life-long working friendship with Man Ray. -Michael R. Taylor

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