Studio: British Film Institute
Length: 187 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 29 August 2005
Cat No: BFIVD643
Hard of Hearing Subtitles: English
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Early Cinema: Primitives And Pioneers
Collection of 59 short films from the earliest days of cinema, preserved in the BFI archives and including such groundbreaking classics... Read More
Following on the release of Electric Edwardians, featuring films from the astounding find of Mitchell and Kenyon's work, the bfi continue their programme of early cinema releases with this collection of 59 films made between 1895-1906. All the luminaries of early cinema are represented, with works included by Lumière - Sortie d'Usine, Méliès - Voyage à travers l'impossible, George Albert Smith - Mary Jane's Mishap, Haggar & Sons - Desperate Poaching Affray, The Hepworth Manufacturing Company - Rescued by Rover and Cricks & Martin's A Visit to Peek Frean's Biscuit Works. There's also a newly restored and tinted version of Edwin S. Porter's The Great Train Robbery, and the Edison Manufacturing Company's The Dream of a Rarebit Fiend which includes a striking simulation of drunkenness using superimposed panning shots.
Some of the most impressive films of the era however came from Pathé Frères, especially in their hand-tinted treatments of Ali Baba et les Quarante Voleurs and Aladdin ou la Lampe Merveilleuse, where the beautiful use of colour adds a little touch of magic and conveys something of the marvel of film that we now take so much for granted.