by Marcel DUCHAMP
1925-1926 / 35mm / b&w / silent / 1S / 7' 05
This characteristically dada film by Marcel Duchamp consists of a series of visual and verbal puns with nonsense phrases inscribed around rotating spiral patterns, creating an almost hypnotic effect.
"Duchamp used the initial payment on his inheritance to make a film and to go into the art business. The film, shot in Man Ray's studio with the help of cinematographer Marc Allégret, was a seven-minute animation of nine punning phrases by Rrose Sélavy. These had been pasted, letter by letter, in a spiral pattern on round black discs that were then glued to phonograph records; the slowly revolving texts alternate with shots of Duchamp's Discs Bearing Spirals, ten abstract designs whose turning makes them appear to move backward and forward in an erotic rhythm. The little film, which Duchamp called Anemic Cinema, had its premiere that August at a private screening room in Paris." - Calvin Tomkins