Saturday, October 20, 2012

Auguste Lumière, 1862-1954

Yesterday marked the 150th birth anniversary of Auguste Lumière who, together with his brother Louis, invented the Cinematographe. This led, in December 1895, to the first public exhibition of films, in Paris, France. (As I understand it, this was the first public exhibition with paid admission. The various inventors had been showing off their films to invited guests.)

One of the advantages that the Cinematographe had to Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope is that it weighed less and as such was more easily portable for location shooting, which the Lumières used in making dozens of short films from about 1895 to 1905. Most of them were static shots of a documentary nature, which is why even something like the work of Georges Meliès is seen as such a big step forward. A good example of this would be one of their earliest works, Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory from 1895. Since it's from that long ago it's in the public domain, which unsurprisingly means it's made its way to Youtube:

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