Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) made some heady art. His whole goal was to “put art back in the service of the mind,” or to create what Jasper Johns once called the “field where language, thought and vision act on one another.” And that’s precisely what Duchamp’s 1926 avant-garde film Anémic Cinéma delivers.
Drawing on his inheritance, Duchamp shot Anémic Cinéma (almost a palindrome) in Man Ray’s studio with the help of cinematographer Marc Allégret. The Dada-inspired film features nine whirling optical illusions, known as Rotoreliefs, alternating with spiraling puns and complex word play. (Vision acts on language and thought, indeed.) The text of the puns appears below the jump. We didn’t attempt to translate them, in part because there’s a convincing case that translations can’t do them justice in any way.
Anémic Cinéma appears in our collection, 1,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc..
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