Film Screening: Dudley Murphy
Soul of the Cypress, Danse Macabre, and Le Ballet Mécanique are available October 22 – 31, 2021 on IMCA's Vimeo channel.
Dudley Murphy (1897 – 1968) was an American film director known for his experimental work in early 20th century cinema. He lived and worked for much of his life in Southern California. Murphy pioneered techniques in combining sound and image in the silent film era with his Visual Symphonies, including Soul of the Cypress (1920), the first American avant-garde film screened in New York, and Danse Macabre (1922), a short dance film conceived by dancer Adolph Bolm. Murphy’s most well-known film, Le Ballet Mécanique, was a groundbreaking Surrealist collaboration with Fernand Léger and Man Ray.
Soul of the Cypress is also on view in The Resonant Surface: Movement, Image, and Sound in California Painting.
Watch Soul of the Cypress
Watch Danse Macabre
Watch Le Ballet Mécanique
Soul of the Cypress, 1920, tinted black & white, 35mm transferred to HD video, 9 minutes, 28 seconds. Originally a silent film, music was added for New York release in 1921. Music by Claude Debussy, "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun" (1894). Courtesy of Light Cone (Paris, France) and the right-holder.
Danse Macabre, 1922, tinted black & white, 35mm transferred to HD video, 6 minutes and 49 seconds. Music by Camille Saint-Säens. Courtesy of Light Cone (Paris, France) and the right-holder.
Le Ballet Mécanique, 1924, tinted black & white, 35mm transferred to HD video, 18 minutes. Music by George Antheil from original 1924 – 1925 score "Ballet pour instruments mécaniques et percussions," adapted and arranged by Paul D. Lehrman, re-mixed 2015 by Gustavo Matamoros. Courtesy of Light Cone (Paris, France) and the right-holder.