Present somewhere in this throng are Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Picasso, Diaghilev, Cocteau, Stravinsky, Satie, Milhaud, Man Ray, Miró, Duchamp, Ford Madox Ford, Aaron Copland, the Prince of Monaco, and the Princesse de Polignac.
The image comes from the richly stocked American Mavericks website, allied to the public-radio series of the same title. I've looked at this site many times, but I only just discovered that it has some spellbinding film clips relating to the avant-garde showman George Antheil, who began his career as one of the chief Futurist noisemakers of twenties Paris and ended it as a Hollywood film scorer, love-advice columnist, and amateur torpedo inventor. The page linked here contains an interview with Paul Lehrman, who's restored the film that Fernand Léger made to accompany Antheil's Ballet mécanique, scored for sixteen player pianos, masses of percussion, and airplane propellers. The real find, something I'd been hoping to see for years, is an excerpt from Marcel L'Herbier's 1924 film L'Inhumaine, which tells of a Faustian scientist who starts raising people from the dead in an effort to win the favor of a famous opera singer. Having not seen the entire film, I can't elucidate the plot further, but what's apparently happening in this scene is that a crowd is demonstrating for and against the imperious diva (Georgette Leblanc). Where does Antheil come in? Some of the crowd shots were actually filmed during his Paris debut, on Oct. 4, 1923, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
As Lehrman tells it — repeating the story given in Antheil's wildly entertaining and sometimes wildly inaccurate autobiography Bad Boy of Music — L'Herbier showed up with his cameras at the concert, anticipating that a photogenic riot would occur. In fact, the researches of ballet historian Lynn Garafola suggest that the whole thing was a setup. An advance piece in Figaro announced that the concert would be filmed and that a riot was not only expected but desired. Still, it's fun to see a high-class Parisian audience looking and acting like the crowd that went nuts during the premiere of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring ten years before — yes, in the same space. I've tried and failed to glimpse the mesdames and messieurs named above; perhaps readers with high-tech equipment will have better luck.
On the same theme, see my old post about Edgard Varèse's appearance in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.