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Ghosts Before Breakfast (1928)

Vormittagsspuk (original title)
Hans Richter, noted for his abstract shorts, has everyday objects rebelling against their daily routine.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Werner Graeff
Walter Gronostay
Paul Hindemith
Darius Milhaud
Madeleine Milhaud
Jean Oser
Willi Pferdekamp
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Storyline

This film embraces the ideals of Dadism, as it shows a series of nonsensical images tied together by four floating bowler hats, which often transform into something else, and a clock ticking down the time. Some of the images include a man's bow-tie with a life of its own, a shooting range whose target continually changes from its standard concentric rings to a man's revolving head, a geometric pattern of guns, a group of men seemingly looking for something, a spool of a water hose, opening and closing windows, a group of people effectively hiding behind a narrow pole, a budding branch, the changing views of men's faces and the back of women's heads, human male legs in various movements, men fighting, and rotting smiles. All of this happens before men sit down for breakfast, when the bowlers find their final resting places. Written by Huggo

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Short

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Release Date:

14 July 1928 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Ghosts Before Breakfast  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Only one reel containing roughly six minutes of footage survived the Nazi Party's attempted purge of the film. See more »

Crazy Credits

In the English version, the opening title card states: "The Nazis destroyed the sound version of this film as 'degenerate art'. It shows that even objects revolt against regimentation." See more »

Connections

Featured in Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the more whimsical art films you can see.
5 April 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

If I had to pick one art film to watch, it would be Hans Richter's "Ghost Before Breakfast". This is unusual because it's not his entire film-- just a six minute portion that somehow avoided being destroyed by the Nazis--who felt that the film was decadent and anti-German! Huh?! What pin-heads! Additionally, the original sound is missing, though the music accompanying it now seems very fitting and works very well.

The film has no traditional narrative whatsoever--which is true of almost all art films!! Instead, tons of tiny film clips are edited together in a manner that might look random--but as a whole they work together very well. The overall effect is actually quite whimsical and charming-- something you rarely would say about an art film. I loved watching the flying derbies, the spinning clock hands and the like! Weird and kind of fun.


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