Friday, May 23, 2008

first contact with cinema

French inventors Louis Lumière and Auguste Lumière were technologically and artistically of great importance to the development of cinema.

A demonstration of the Edison Kinetoscope in 1894 inspired the Lumiere brothers toward motion pictures.
By the following year, Louis had created and patented the cinématographe, the device that changed the face of early cinema. A combination camera, projection device, and printer, the hand-cranked cinématographe differed from Edison's camera in that it was relatively compact and easy to transport while Edison's was cumbersome, noisy, and used 48 frames per second as opposed to Lumière's 16.
With the cinématographe, the brothers were able to chronicle daily events outside the studio.
Their first such film, La Sortie des Usines (1895), filmed workers leaving the Lumière factory at day's end. They made 19 more little films including the famed L'Arrivee d'un Train en Gare, and Les Repas de Bebe, as well as the early slapstick film L'Arroseur Arrosee (Watering the Gardener).

As my children were not yet exposed to cinema, movies, I started by showing them Lumieres movies!
So they were able to appreciate, "l'arrivee du train en gare de la Ciotat" noticing all the details! They were particularly interested to see that people were dressed differently and that there were no cars.

Georges Méliès was a French filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest cinema.

He was very innovative in the use of special effects. He accidentally discovered the stop trick, or substitution, in 1896, and was one of the first filmmakers to use multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted color in his films.

Because of his ability to seemingly manipulate and transform reality with the cinematography, Méliès is sometimes referred to as the "Cinemagician."

My children ADORE Melies movies! They are a lot of fun to watch, silent movie full of magic and fantasy. They appreciate particularly "sorcellerie culinaire" (1903) et "La conquète du pole" (1912)

I believe that it is important to start a story at the beginning.
The same way we usually start to read the alphabet before reading words, it makes sense to have our first contact with cinema with the first movies ever done. I believe that it does help to apprehend this audiovisual language as well as he does help to differentiate fiction from reality.

We finished this first contact with cinema screening "Entr'acte" by Rene Clair (1984).

For this production, the Dadaists collaborating on the project invented a new mode of production: instantanéisme. The complete film takes about 20 minutes using such techniques as watching people run in slow motion, watching things happen in reverse, looking at a ballet dancer from underneath, watching an egg over a fountain of water get shot and instantly become a bird and watching people disappear. The cast included cameo appearances by Francis Picabia, Erik Satie, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp.

My children laugh a lot during this screening, particularly looking at the ballet dancer from underneath, they first did not see what it was, then they noticed the feet, and that was the beginning of a long laugh. They like the movie and it was a lot of fun to watch it with them.

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