Early Cinema - Primitives And Pioneers (DVD)

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Early Cinema - Primitives And Pioneers (DVD)

Features a collection of fifty-nine films originating from the pre-1910 era of cinema. Includes: 'Ali Bava Et Les Quarante Voleurs', 'Magic Bricks' an...

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Review of "Early Cinema - Primitives And Pioneers (DVD)"

published 24/10/2005 | Martinscholes
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"Films from 110 years ago"

If you are even only vaguely interested in the early days of cinema, you really do need to get this special 2 DVD set.

Because when the British Film Institute says early, they mean really early! The earliest film in this collection dates back to 1895. Yes! That's right! 1895! You can see gems like Sortie d'usine, which is a film taken of workers leaving the Lumiere factory in Lyon, France. One amusing point in this film I that a dog rushes out with all of the workers and then a while later, rushes back, perhaps after realising that he had inadvertently left his pet human behind!

The next film (Repas de bebe) is also from 1895 and records Auguste Lumiere and his family enjoying breakfast in their garden. As the commentary (written by Barry Salt, read by Michael Garland) points out the audience of the day were equally as fascinated by the background of the film, such as the moving leaves of the trees.

Another film featuring Auguste Lumiere is Demolition d'un mur, of early 1896, which shows him overseeing the demolition of a wall at the factory. Apparently, when this film was shown, they would also play it backwards, just for the fun of it.

You might have seen stills taken from Arrivee de Congressistes a Nueville-sur-Saone, when Lumiere filmed members of the Congress of Photographic Societies arriving for a meeting, stepping from a steam launch. Mostly men, but some women, too. Also, you might have seen stills taken from Arrivee d'un train en gare a La Ciotat when the train arrives at a station. On this DVD you can actually see the original films.

The film Partie d'ecarte is amusing, if only for the frantic over-acting of the waiter as he serves drinks to the card-playing gentlemen!

There are several other Lumiere films and also some amusing yet innovative films by Georges Meliies. Melies was not only a film maker but a magician and illusionist and he brought these considerable skills to his film making.

There is also one film made by Birt Acres Rough Sea at Dover, which is exactly what it says, a short film of some especially nasty weather at Dover in 1895. Apparently Acres made some other films (including fictional films) but stopped making films, concentrating instead on making cameras and film stock.

Other film makers included are R. W. Paul, (included is the 1896 Derby, a violent game of chess, a country bumpkin (complete with smock!) and a fantastic car chase.

George Albert Smith had several films included such as Grandma's Reading Glass (a boy looks at several things through said reading glass) and Mary Jane's Mishap, which points ot the folly of using paraffin to light a fire!

The Sheffield Photographic Company has a 193 film called Daring Daylight Burglary which tells the dramatic tale of how a burglar is apprehended after a long a hard chase. Still quite an exciting film.

Bamforth the postcard company also got into the act and their version of the film The Kiss in the Tunnel is shown as well as Ladies' Skirts Nailed to a Fence.

There are some examples of early documentary films such as Cricks and Martin's Visit to Peak Frean and Co.'s Biscuit Works and the Kineto Production Company's A Day in the Life of a Coal Miner.

Have you heard of the Edwin S. Porter 1903 film, The Great Train Robbery? Now you can see it.

There are even some examples of tinted or hand coloured films, some of which are really rather good, some not so!

Piano music was performed throughout the films by Neil Brand, Stephen Horne and John Sweeney.

This would make for a very good Christmas indeed for a film buff.

Although released at £19.95, Ciao tells us that it can be bought at £14.95. See price Comparison information for details.


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Comments on this review

  • jacpuss published 28/10/2005
    i love the old greats so i think i would love to see this! love jacquie xxxx
  • n13roy published 28/10/2005
    This would be a fascinating DVD I think, especially for anyone remotely interested in old films, another interesting review too......Roy
  • daisydaisym published 27/10/2005
    Good review, sounds like a great Christmas prezzie for my boyfriend, Mel x
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Product Information : Early Cinema - Primitives And Pioneers (DVD)

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Features a collection of fifty-nine films originating from the pre-1910 era of cinema. Includes: 'Ali Bava Et Les Quarante Voleurs', 'Magic Bricks' and 'The Great Train Robbery'.

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Listed on Ciao since: 24/10/2005