The Birth of Cinema

Polidor – Tontolini è triste (1911)

Plot
Disappointed by love, Tontolini consults a doctor about the sadness he feels. The doctor prescribes distractions and entertainment as a cure. Tontolini accepts the doctor’s advice and begins the cure by going to café chantants and theaters, where he finds nothing but moving performances that make him even sadder. (European Film Gateway) Read More »

Charles Tutelier – La Belgique martyre AKA The martyrdom of Belgium (1919)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Plot
A young Flemish peasant experiences the brutal side of war after his father has left to fight at the battle front of the Yser, his mother has been executed by German soldiers and his grandfather has been sent to an internment camp. He decides to take up arms and joins the Belgian army to avenge his mother’s death… (EFG) Read More »

Cecil M. Hepworth – Alice in Wonderland (1903)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Feature film 1903 UK

This was the very first film version of “Alice” and encapsulated much of the “Wonderland” story into a short ten minute feature. Despite the infancy of the film-making process, the production included some creditable special effects and Alice grew and shrank to good effect. The film is preserved by the British Film Institute, although two of the sixteen scenes are missing.
“The History of the British Film: 1896-1906” by Rachael Low and Roger Manvell (distributed in the USA by R.R. Bowker, 1948, 1973) offers this description: (see above right)
“The film is composed of sixteen scenes, dissolving very beautifully from one to another, but preceded, where necessary for the elucidation of the story, by descriptive titles.”
The book proceeds to describe the 16 scenes in considerable detail and also offers a brief entry on the Hepworth Manufacturing Company and its founder, Cecil Hepworth (born 1874). Read More »

Émile Cohl – Le Songe d’un garçon de café AKA The Hasher’s Delirium (1910)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Another little gem from Emile Cohl. This short animated film seems to be about booze and delusions.
Read More »

Various – Early Cinema : Primitives & Pioneers (1895 – 1910)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

www.bfi.org.uk wrote:
The BFI’s fascinating collection of 60 short films all made before 1911 comes to DVD with the aim of giving wider access to some of the extraordinary film material held in the National Film and Television Archive, much of which has been restored. Although most films made at this time were actualities and newsreels, this collection contains mostly fiction films, ranging from the dramatic to the comic and the fantastical.

This double-disc set provides an entertaining look at how many film devices such as the close-up, the cut-away and editing, were first invented by film-makers before the turn of the century. Read More »

Segundo de Chomon – Satan At Play (1907)

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/696/vlcsnap154306.png

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

IMDB:
In an unnamed place, his majesty Satan is bored. Despite his servants exertions, nothing can be found to cheer him up. Read More »

Franz Hofer – Hurra! Einquartierung! (1913)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

This film comes from the Schloss Archive of His Highness, Herr Graf Ferdinand von Galitzien:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Quote:
Born Franz Wygand Wüstenhöfer in Malstatt (Saarland), Hofer began his career as a stage actor and playwright in 1909. A year later he began working as a screenwriter for Messter’s Henny Porten series and for directors such as Viggo Larsen—Die schwarze Katze [The Black Cat] (1910)—and Walter Schmidthässler—Das Weib ohne Herz [The Woman Without a Heart] and Der Zug des Herzens [The Pull of the Heart] (both 1912). Read More »