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Emak Bakia

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Emak-Bakia (Leave Me Alone)
Directed byMan Ray
Written byMan Ray
Produced byMan Ray
StarringMan Ray
Kiki of Montparnasse (Alice Prin)
Jacques Rigaut
Release date
  • 1926 (1926) (France)
Running time
19 minutes

Emak Bakia[n 1] (Basque for Leave me alone; full title: Emak Bakia (CInépoème) (Fichez-moi la paix)[1]) is a 1926 French surrealist short film directed by Man Ray. Termed as a cinépoème (cinematic poem) by its author,[2] it features many techniques Man Ray used in his still photography (for which he is better known), including Rayographs, double exposure, soft focus and ambiguous features.


Emak Bakia (1926)

Emak Bakia shows elements of fluid mechanical motion in parts, rotating artifacts showing his ideas of everyday objects being extended and rendered useless. Kiki of Montparnasse (Alice Prin) is shown driving a car in a scene through a town. Towards the middle of the film Jacques Rigaut appears dressed in female clothing and make-up. Later in the film a caption appears: "La raison de cette extravagance" (the reason for this extravagance). The film then cuts to a car arriving and a passenger leaving with briefcase entering a building, opening the case revealing men's shirt collars which he proceeds to tear in half. The collars are then used as a focus for the film, rotating through double exposures.



The film features sculptures by Pablo Picasso, and some of Man Ray's mathematical objects both still and animated using a stop motion technique.

Originally a silent film, recent copies have been dubbed using music taken from Man Ray's personal record collection of the time.[3] The musical reconstruction was led by Jacques Guillot.[4]



When the film was first exhibited at the Vieux Colombier theatre,[5] a man in the audience stood up to complain it was giving him a headache and hurting his eyes. Another man told him to shut up, and they both started to fight. The theatre turned into a frenzy, the fighting ended up out in the street, and the police were called in to stop the riot.[citation needed]



In 2012, Spanish director Oskar Alegria directed a feature-length documentary film La Casa Emak Bakia which details his search for the house where Emak Bakia was filmed.[6][7]


  1. ^ Various recent sources in English hyphenate the title (Emak-Bakia).


  1. ^ "Emak Bakia (Cinépoème) (Fichez-moi la paix)". Centre Pompidou. Retrieved 10 September 2023.
  2. ^ Tate. "'Emak Bakia', Man Ray, 1926, remade 1970". Tate. Retrieved 10 September 2023.
  3. ^ Benjamin, Elizabeth (30 August 2016). Dada and Existentialism: The Authenticity of Ambiguity. Springer. ISBN 978-1-137-56368-2.
  4. ^ "The Sound(track) of Silence: Hearing Things in Dada Film" (PDF). Coventry University Repository.
  5. ^ Bouhours, Jean-Michel; Haas, Patrick de (1997). Man Ray: directeur du mauvais movies (in French). Centre Georges Pompidou. ISBN 978-2-85850-943-0.
  6. ^ The Search for Emak Bakia (2012) | MUBI (in Portuguese), retrieved 10 September 2023
  7. ^ "Biennale Cinema 2019 | The Web Theatre is back for the 76th Venice Film Festival". La Biennale di Venezia. 22 August 2019. Retrieved 10 September 2023.



See also