Article 5203 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Rene Clair
Featuring Jean Borlin, Inge Friss, Francis Picabia
What it is: Dada weirdness
Plot: Yes, there is one… sort of…
This avant-garde short was originally shown as part of an opera; the first two minutes were shown before the ballet, and the rest of the movie was shown between the two acts. With a cast that includes Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, there’s one thing you can be sure of, and that is that you’re in deep Dada territory, but the presence of Rene Clair also adds a strong dose of humor to the proceedings. There is something of a plot involve a runaway wagon carrying a coffin, but it’s mostly there as a frame from which to hang the bizarre and sometimes amusing visuals. There is some fantastic content; for example, we have a man rising from a coffin and making people disappear with his wand, as well as a cannon that moves of its own accord. There are lots of abstract and experimental films out there, but this is one of the most fun that I’ve seen.