WATCH THE FILMS OF THE LUMIÈRE BROTHERS & THE BIRTH OF CINEMA (1895)

Monday, September 01, 2014

The Lumière Brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas (1862-1954) and Louis Jean (1864-1948) are credited to be first filmmakers in history. They patented the cinematograph, which contrary to Thomas Edison’s “peepshow” kinetoscope, the former allowed viewing by multiple parties at once, like current cinema. Their first film, Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory in Lyon (French: La Sortie des usines Lumière à Lyon), shot in 1894, is considered the first real motion picture in history. Curiously, their surname, “Lumière,” is French for “light.”

Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory in Lyon consists of a single scene in which workers leave the Lumiere factory. The workers are mostly female who exit the large building 25 rue St. Victor, Montplaisir on the outskirts of Lyon, France, as if they had just finished a day’s work. Three separate versions of this film exist. There are a number of differences between these, for example the clothing style changes demonstrating the different seasons in which they were filmed. They are often referred to as the “one horse,” “two horses,” and “no horse” versions, in reference to a horse-drawn carriage that appears in the first two versions (pulled by one horse in the original and two horses in the first remake).

This 46-second movie was filmed by means of the Cinématographe, an all-in-one camera, which also serves as a film projector and developer. This film was shown on December 28, 1895 at the Grand Café on the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris, along with nine other short movies. As with all early Lumière movies, this film was made in 35 mm format with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and at a speed of 16 frames per second. At that rate, the 17 meters of film length provided a duration of 46 seconds, holding a total of 800 frames.



The Sprinkler Sprinkled (French: L’Arroseur arrosé) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent comedy film directed and produced by Louis Lumière and starring François Clerc and Benoît Duval. It was first screened on June 10, 1895. It has the distinction of being the earliest known instance of film comedy, as well as the first use of film to portray a fictional story.

Shot in Lyon in the spring of 1895, the film portrays a simple practical joke in which a gardener is tormented by a boy who steps on the hose that the gardener is using to water his plants, cutting off the water flow. When the gardener tilts the nozzle up to inspect it, the boy releases the hose, causing the water to spray him. The gardener is stunned and his hat is knocked off, but he soon catches on. A chase ensues, both on and off-screen (the camera never moves from its original position) until the gardener catches the boy and administers a spanking. The entire film lasts only 49 seconds, but this simple bit of slapstick may be the forerunner of all subsequent film comedy.

In the earliest years of the history of film, the cinema was used by pioneers such as Thomas Edison and the Lumières to entertain by the sheer novelty of the invention, and most films were short recordings of mundane events, such as a sneeze, or the arrival of a train. Ever seeking to innovate, the Lumières took some of the first steps toward narrative film with L’Arroseur arrosé. Given the documentary nature of existing films up until this point, a scripted, comedic film shown among these was unexpected by an audience, enhancing its comedic surprise value. It was filmed by means of the Cinématographe, an all-in-one camera, which also serves as a film projector and developer. As with all early Lumière movies, this film was made in a 35 mm format with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.



The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station (French: L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Auguste and Louis Lumière. Contrary to myth, it was not shown at the Lumières’ first public film screening on December 28, 1895 in Paris, France. Its first public showing took place in January 1896.

This 50-second silent film shows the entry of a train pulled by a steam locomotive into a train station in the French coastal town of La Ciotat, Bouches-du-Rhône, France. Like most of the early Lumière films, L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat consists of a single, unedited view illustrating an aspect of everyday life. There is no apparent intentional camera movement, and the film consists of one continuous real-time shot. It was filmed by means of the Cinématographe, an all-in-one camera, which also serves as a printer and film projector. As with all early Lumière movies, this film was made in a 35 mm format with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.



To know more about the history of film, click here.

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