The Anatomy of European Cinema
2. Panorama du Grand Canal pris d’un bateau/Panorama of the Grand Canal Taken from a Boat
directed by Alexandre Promio (France, 1896)

Partie 1895
Louis Lumière: Partie d'Écarté (1896)
Partie 1896
Georges Mé;iès: Partie de cartes (1896)
Partie 1897
Leopoldo Fregoli: Parte di carte (1897)

Lucien Trewey The whole question of "film editing" has become rather sadly a "political" one. The exaggerated conviction of its importance in the development of film "language" (as though film, like any other art-form, did not have many languages) has led to quite unjustifed attempts to establish "ownership" of editing techniques, as though they were in some way subject to copyright,as a means of promoting the importance of particular techniques and particular cinematic tradiitons - usually inevitanly the US "realistic" tradition - over others which can be seen as of equal importance. It has also given rise to a whole breed of critic - inevitably again usually US - who might be described as "editomaniacs". In fact the most important editing is always "in camera". Although, as I have already suggested, mise enscèneis quite as important as the increased use of continuity editing in the devlopment of film-narrative, you would hardly believe so to hear the editomaniacs on the subject. The use of a travelling camera in the Italian epic Cabiria (1914)is quite as important a development as any of the parallel editing in D. W. Griffith's films The Birthof the Nation(1915) and Intolerance but again you would not know it from the work of the editomaniacs. It is barely a coincidence that mise en scène, panorama and the mobile camera play a much more important role in the European cinema tradition, then and since, than in the US tradition,whichhas always privileged continuity editing. Auguste and Louis LumièreFollowng the first public projection in December 1895 (and while the Paris exhibition continued to run successfully), the Lumières embarked on an adventure without precedent in the history of cinema.

In June 1896 the Lumières began what was perhaps the most crucial manouevre in their entire worldwide campaign - the attempt to woo the United States, potentially th richest market in the world. Three operators weer dispatched to the Americas - Louis Minier to Canada, Gabriel Veyre to Mexico and Félix Mesguich to New York. Mesguich organised the first showing at Keith's Music Hall on 29 June 1896 where it was apparently a triumphant success. The repertoire was much the same as elsewhere, Employees Leaving the Lumière Factory, Feeding the Baby (Repas de bébe), A Dip In the Sea (La Baignade en mer), M. Lumiere Receiving Guests (Arrivée en Voiture), The Gardener and The Bad Boy (L'arroseur arrosé), Washing Day in Switzerland (the Lavanchy-Clarke film advertising Sunlight Soap), Hyde Park, London, The Cascade (Geneva Exhibition), another Lavanchy-Clarke film showing a water-toboggan in operation, The Messers Lumiere at Cards (Partie d'écarté), , a highly popular military view, and of course The Arrival of the Mail Train. Theatrical sound-effects were provided and a lecturer, Lew Shaw, was hired to explain the pictures as they were shown. The US press was particularly impresssed by the quality of the projection, the pictures being "clearer and there is less vibration, so that the pictures are not so trying on the eyes as those produced by the other machines".

A second cinématographe arrived in July, allowing the cinématogrpahe to take over from Edison's Vitascope at Keith's theatre in Philadelphia in addition to the New York venue and a third machine went into operation at Keith's Boston theatre on August 10, again replacing the Vitascope. The runs were substantial, 23 weeks in New York, nineteen in Philadelphia and 22 in Boston. The Lumière concessionaire in the United States, Charles Smith Hurd and Hurd, had achieved something of a coup in arranging the association with Keith. Benjamin Franklin Keith and his partner Edward Frankln Albee owned a string of high-class vaudeville theatres (where drinking, smoking and profanity were banned and music was provided by a lone pianist, David Fitzgibbons) right across the East of the United States, some very large indeed (their original Providence theatre could hold over 1800 people). The partnership was of course mutually beneficial. They exhibited at Benjamin Keith's Union Square Theater (from 29 June 1896) in New York while Keith, in return for exclusive rights to exhibition, also opened halls in Philadelphia, Boston and other major cities. As a result the Lumière programmes were highly successful throughout The United States, the only weakness being their lack of American material while Edison could emphasise, in the words of one newspaper that they showed "entirely American views".

They could however capitalise on the quality of their films to appeal to a middle-class audience that had been badly served by the Vitascope. Opening a storefront in an old post-office building in Brooklyn, the company announced that its pictures would be 'of special interest to those who know something of the artistic side of photography" and on 1st November it transferred its Brooklyn operation to Association Hall, usually a venue for cultural lectures.

In September Lumière's star-operator, Alexandre Promio arrived in New York,bringing with him more machines and many new films (including those he had himself shot in Spain and the footage of the Russian coronation). The umières' New York office could now boast 24 cinématographes and a catalogue of 1400 films. There was a new opening on 7 September at Harry Davis' vaudevlle house in Pittsburgh at the same time as the Vitascope opened in the town (showing in conjunction with Scott Marble's hit play The Sidewalks of New York) but while the Vitascope ran for only three weeks, the cinématographe stayed for three months. On 14 September the cinématographe opened its account in Chicago and at Sylvester Z Poli's Wonderland Theater in New Haven. "Never in all our experience have we seen an attraction draw such crowd as the cinematographe and never have audiences left a theater with more enthusiasm for the merits of an attraction," wrote the New Haven Evening Register. 'The cinematographe is, indeed, the fad of this time, and that New Havener is out of fashion who has not seen it". The Wonderland Theatre drew 122,07 people in three weeks, at an average of nearly 6000 a day. By the end of the year the Lumière publicity could claim that its film-showings were universally conceded to be 'America's greatest sensation". Although Félix Mesguich, with several operators, had been there since June, no film-making seems to have been done. Promio, arriving at the very end of August, presumably assigned to rectify the situation, spent a frenetic month filming townscapes in New York and Chicago. Before leaving on 25 September, he also followed the US film-makers in shotting footage of the Niagara Falls. None of these films would be available however until the end of the year, none being shown in France until December 1896/January 1897. By this time the Lumières were facing more serious rivalry both from Edison, who bombarded them with lawsuits and from American Mutograph, which had links with the protectionist lobby in the McKinley admministration, and adopted an even more sharply chauvinistic line with regard to the Lumière operation. The ending of the concession system and the setting up on an agency at 13 East 30th Street in New York in November which was empowered to sell state rights and lease machines, while it seemingly freed up the Lumière venture in the USA in fact, as elsewhere was to spell its demise. Concessionaires no longer enjoyed the same advantages from, and so no longer felt the same obligations to, the Lumière comopany. The original concessionaire, Charles Hurd seems to have died in November 1896 and his successor, Walter W. Freeman, seems to have been more concerned with his own entrepreneurial activities. A French manager called Lafont who was sent out in November (arriving on 1 December) had, according to Mesguich, no understanding either of English or of "the American mentality". One casualty of this situation was the loss of their relationship with Keith and his vaudeville network, the one respect in which the Lumières had successfully entered into the American system where such networks were the key to all success. In December when the Lumière run in New York ended, Keith booked American Mutscope to replace them, a relationship that would be maintained for another eight years.

James White: American Fall from above (1896)
James White: Falls of Minnehaha (1897)
Alexandre Promio: Niagara, les chutes (1896)

There was inevitably a certain overlap between the thre types of film. The policemaen parading in Chicago was a topicality but a topicality staged specially for the camera. The Chicago police-parade did later become a regular event but in 1896 it was the French cameraman, Alexandre promio, who persuaded them to mount such a parade. The composed view featuring the washerwomen was even more composed than such views generally were. It is the film-maker, François-Henri Lavanchy-Clark's's own family who are doing the washing and, since he happened to be the local representative in Switzerland both for Lumière and for Sunlight soap, the clearly-marked boxes were intended as aas a very deliberate advertisement. While the dancers in the street (in London) appear also to be such a composed view (and the man with the cap is indeed "directing" them), it is also a "televisual attraction". The Lumière operators did not have facilities for indoor filming and theefore invited their show-stars outside. The women are almost certainly dancers from the music-hall just nextdoor to the hall where the cinématographe was exhibiting.

Even if the film-makers learned very quickly to exploit these genres of films in different ways, mix and match between them and even disguise their nature, the genres remained distinct and were never (in French practice) designated by one single term. The word actualités was used to describe news footage or topicalities. The attractions were typically referred to as scènes de danse et de ballet, ,scènes de sports et d'acrobatie, scènes de magie and so on. Such "televisual" material would not long remain in the mainstream repertoire of film-making but would be consigned to newsreel-services, where the company could afford to run them, and to film-magazines (such as Pathé-revue). They would nevertheless long remain a popular aspect of cinema and reprsent an area of cinema-going and of cinema history that has been far too little investigated or appreciateded. Eventually they would both become the province of radio and television.

The "composed view" is quite a different matter. These are the ancestors of both fiction and non-fiction films and already contain both aspects. Although the "composed view" would become to some extent of all film-makers once the camneras availablke were sufficiently mobile, it remained most important in the European tradition. The US film-makers, Edison, American Mutoscope and Biograph and their smaller rivals, would tend to continue to concentrate on "attractions" as well as introuducing news-reporting or topicalities, that is to say, on the "televisual" repertoire. Even when they introduced "composed views", they were rarely of the same nature as those produced by the Lumières and subsequently by other French and European film-makers. The difference reflected differences in the origins of the film-makers, in the audience primarily targeted and in commercial considerations peculiar to the different industries as they developed.

From the outset, the film-producers were first and foremost businessmen. This applied to all the US companies (veen the one-man bands) and applied equally to the Lumières; the Lumières, father and sons, were also professional photographers and this simple fact was to have profound and lasting repercussions for the future of French and European cinema. However doubtful the Lumières may have been about the future of cinema - and both Antoine and Louis are said to have expresed their doubts about it - they took the matter extremely seriously during the few years they were involved in active film-making. Louis was initially himself the only film-maker and his films, both then and later, show a care and talent for composition distinctly superior to other contemporary cinematographers. Although at the height of their international film-making activities, the company may have had several hundred operators at work, very few of them were allowed to make films. Most film-making in Europe was in practice restricted to Charles Moisson, the company's engineer, Alexandre Promio, who became very much the star photographer and François-Constant Girel (who would later also make films in Japan). Celluloid was expensive and other junior operators such as Félix Mesguich or François Doublier appear to have only occasionally been allowed to make films, their role in general being restricted to projection. Two European reprentatives of "concessionaires", Félicien Trewey in London and François-Henri Lavanchy-Clark in Switzerland made their own arrangements, employing local photographers and, as the Lumières relaxed their control over the operations, the concesionaires elsewhere in Europe would eventually follow suit. Marius Sestier, another Lumière employee but a chemist rather than a photographer, was the company's representative in Australia but proved no cameraman - he made a hash of his attempot to shoot films in Bombay - and similarly emplyed a local photographer to do the camea-work. Of the other Lumière operators, only Gabriel Veyre in Latin America (and later Cambodia and Japan) would become a regular film-maker.

In practice, therefore, the majority of films were shot by just a handful of trusted operators. What is more, they operated under strict instructions as to the kinds of subject they should film with the emphasis firmly placed on scenes of everyday life. Back in Lyon, Louis Lumière not merely supervised the entire operation but operated an elaborate system of quality-control. All films had to be returned to Lyon for processing and were then later re-sent to their countries of origin (and elsewhere) for projection and only those films demed worthy were accorded a place in the Lumière catalogue. transmitted . The Lumière family (which broadly included friends and employees) was collectively the first important "star" of cinema. Everything that concerned their lives (not admittedly the most passionately interesting of lives) became public property - their chateau walks by the sea, thechildren

During the 1870s and 1880s engineer John Arthur Roebuck Rudge of Bath carried out experiments with moving picture projection using glass slides. Rudge's "Phantascope" projector was demonstrated on several occasions by photographer William Friese Greene. Friese Greene also designed his own camera but never seems to have projected the films shot and the same appears to be the case with two other British inventors, Wordsworth Donisthorpe and W.C.Crofts. One Jean Aimé LeRoy later claimed to have projected a Donisthorpe film in the US in 1893 but the claim is unsubstantiated.

During the 1880s Prussian photographer Ottomar Anschütz developed another system of sequence photography, using his "Electro-Tachyscope" which projected transparencies from disc. These were demonstrated at the Swedish photographic exhibition in Stockholm on 3 November 1894 and in Berlin on 25 November 1894 and were on public show in Lisbon in Portugal from 28 December 1894 and in Berlin from 22 February 1895. Pauvre PierrotAutour d'une cabine In Russia one Iossif Timischenko demonstrated his projector/camera for a group of natural scientists at the University of Odessa in January 1894 but nothing further is known of the event.

French illustrator and animator Charles-Émile Reynaud had developed his "Praxinoscope" in 1877, a revolving cylinder with a band of coloured images set inside. An enlarged version, patented in 1888 as the « théâtre optique », in combination with a magic lantern allowed him to project animated films, all individually hand-painted in colour. On 28 October 1892, he made the first public projection of his « pantomimes lumineuses » at the musée Grévin. The programme, about 18 minutes in all, included three films, Clown et ses chiens (300 frames), Pauvre Pierrot (500 frames), rival night-time courtships of Colombine by Arlequin and Pierrot, and Un Bon Bock (700 frames). Gaston Paulin accompanied the pieces on the piano with music specially witten for each "pantomime". Closed from 1 March 1894 until 1 January 1895, Reynaud reopened on that date with two new subjects, Un rêve au coin de feu and Autour d'une cabine. Of the five films, only the five-minute Pauvre Pierrot and the two-minute Autour d'une cabine (scenes around a beach-hut) survive.

1894-1895: Edison

The problem was evaded by Thomas Alvar Edison and his film-makers William Kennedy Laurie Dickson and William Heise in the USA by using a peep-show machine (above right) known as "the Kinetoscope", as the means of viewing the films. A motion picture studio (later nicknamed the "Black Maria") was set up in West Orange, New Jersey where Edison had built his laboratory complex in 1887 and here, along with cameraman William Heise, Dickson made a series of three short experimental films featuring a lab worker horsing around for the camera (known as "Monkeyshines") in 1889-90. Further experimental mini-films were shot during 1891, including Dickson Greeting (Dickson himself taking a bow) and various fragments featuring members of the Newark Turnverein, a nearby athletic club. The very earliest demonstration of the Kinetoscope was to 150 members of the National Federation of Women's Clubs on 20 May 1891 where Dickson Greeting was shown. In 1893 Dickson shot two more elaborate films, Barber Shop, a scene of a lightning shave and Blacksmiths/Blacksmithing Scene. The finished version of the machines was demonstrated at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences on 9 May 1893 where Blacksmithing Scene> provided the principal attraction.

During the course of 1894-5, as "kinetoscope parlours" began to open round the country, Edison and Dickson added to their repertoire of films by shooting a whole procession of vaudeville stars then performing at Koster & Bial's music hall - the German strongman Eugen Sandow, the Spanish dancer Carmencita, the Venezuelan tightrope-walker Juan Caicedo, the female contortionist from Yorkshire, Ena Bertoldi.

Eugen Sandow
Eugen Sandow (1894)
Carmencita (1894)
Juan Caicedo
Caicedo (1894)

There were many dancers - the "champion high-kicker" Ruth Denis, the French danseuse Marthe Armandary, a further trio of Spaniards La Regloncita, La Graciosa and La Preciosa, Lucy Murray, Madge Crossland and May Lucas, London "Gaiety girls" (the London show A Gaiety Girl enjoyed a three-month run at Daly's theatre in New York in 1894). The most successful by far of the various dance acts was that of Annabelle Whitford Moore, who did imitations of the "free dance" forms made famous by her more celebrated compatriot Loië Fuller in Paris - Butterfly Dance, Sun Dance and Serpentine Dance. These performances, often hand-coloured, proved especially popular. All the films,approximately 46 feet long, lasted less than twenty seconds.

Butterfly Dance
Annabelle: Butterfly Dance
Serpentine Dance
Annabelle: Serpentine Dance

There were more films of athletics (trapeze and somerault) and Wrestling Match. Cock Fight, of which at least two editions were shot in March and August, would prove an extremely popular subject although Rat Catcher/Rat Killing, filming terriers catching and killing rats, was apparently "not good, the rats being too small." Performing animals featured strongly with The Wrestling Dog, (Professor Harry Welton's) Boxing Cats and Trained Bears all being amonst the earliest films made. On a slightly more muted note films were also made of an Italian street musician (Organ Grinder) and of a fully-costumed couple doing a Scottish dance (Highland Dance).

Cock Fight
Cock Fight (1894)
Serpentine Dance
Boxing Cats

Of the films shot by Dickson during the Spring of 1894, the sole one of any real interest is A Bar Room Scene, a lost film, which dramatised the wind-up of a political discussion between a Democrat, a Republican, a barmaid and a policeman. The film belongs certainly, as film historian Charles Musser has emphasised, to the same "homosocial, testosterone-loaded world" as the rest of the Black Maria repertoire but, unlike Sandow, Wrestling Match, Cock Fight, Rat Killing and the rest, it has some content, a mild satire and a fictional scene, with characterised if stereotyped participants, in a bar-room locale that was destined to become a typical mise en scène in several genres of US film, and particularly (see below)the most distinctively "American" of all genres, "the western". The film was evidently a success as Dickson and Heise went on to make New Bar Room Scene (also lost) in 1895 with a more elaborate and "realistic" scenario involving a barmaid, two men playing cards, a group of "toughs", a violent quarrel and a police intervention.

Cripple Creek
James White: Cripple Creek Bar-room Scene (1899)
Duel in the Sun
King Vidor: Duel in the Sun (1946)

To exhibit a boxing-match required an enlargement of the capacity of the Kinetoscope to enable it to show 150 feet of film, an adjustement successfully effected by Otway Latham or Rector or both, and they then arranged for a fight between Michael Leonard, a fancy dresser known as "the Beau Brummel of Pugilism" and the unknown Jack Cushing to be filmed in the Black Maria on 15 June 1894. Leonard, a popular fighter, received $150 and Cushing just $50. Edison himself acted as master of ceremonies, even mimicking the boxers' thrusts as the fight intensified, but his role in the event was kept quiet because of the doubtful legality of the filming and the fight was not publicly shown until August 1894 when the new Latham-Rector-Tilden Kinetoscope parlour opened at 83 Nassau St. New York with six "enhanced" machines, each showing one round.

The venture was a success and represented an important step in the public acceptance of boxing in the United States. A specially "staged" fight between "Gentlemen Jim" Corbett and a local New Jersey boxer Peter Courtney in September 1894. Jim Corbett, heavyweight champion since 1892, had also played an important role in respectablising the sport and was also appearing in 1894 as himself in the Broadway play Gentleman Jack. The fight took place in the Black Maria on 7 September 1894, just four days after the play opened. This contest was an entirely put-up job, with Corbett arranged to win by a knockout in the sixth round. Corbett's manager William Brady acted as time-keeper. Corbett himself was paid $5,000 and a royalty on films exhibited (eventually in excess of $20,000) while Courtney was paid $1,000. A further five-round fight between two obscure boxers, Eugene Horbacker and Murphy, whose first name is unknown, was staged in late September although only one reel of this fight has survived.

The prominence given to the Corbett-Countrney fight did have legal repercussions. Judge David A. Depue in Newark started a grand-jury investigation. Edison was subpoenaed but denied any involvement in or knowledge of the event, even though his presence at it had been reported in the press. Eventually the case was dropped and Corbett and Courtney Before the Kinetograph (or simply The Corbett-Courtney Fight) went on to be a nationwide success although Corbett's contract absorbed much of the profit. By this time a second parlour with "enhanced" Kinetoscopes had opened in New York City and Thomas L Tally had installed the new large-capacity machines in his Phonograph and Kinetoscope Parlor at 311 South Spring Street in Los Angeles. Shortly afterwards others were opened in Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, and San Francisco.

Various performers from Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, then at the peak of its popularity, came out to the Edison laboratory. Buffalo Bill and a group of Indians appeared in a series of films in September. These films were intended principally for showing in Europe, where the Kinetoscope was to be marketed in October 1894 by Edison's associates, the rich American Businessman Irving T. Bush and the newly-formed Continental Commerce Company of Frank Z. Maguire and Joseph D. Baucus, while The Wild West Show was due, by a happy coincidence of interests, to leave on a European tour in the same month. Other performers from The Wild West Show who appeared before the Edison camera were cowboy Lee Martin with his horse Sunfish, who demonstrated his skills in a small corral specially constructed in the studio, and "the little Sure Shot of the Wild West", Annie Oakley, whodemonstrated her rifle-shooting talents.

Bucking Broncho
Bucking Broncho (1894)
Buffalo Dance
Buffalo Dance (1894)
Annie Oakley
Annie Oakley (1894)

Then there was the Egyptian acrobat and knife-juggler, Hadji Cherrif and his belly-dancing wife, both also with the Wild West Show (Hadji Cheriff). They were followed by other performers and novelty acts (mostly from Koster & Bial's). Madame Ruth appeared doing the hoochie-coochie in Danse de Ventre and Petit and Kessler fought in Wrestling Match. The Englehardt Sisters fenced for the kinetograph with both broadswords and foils and a Mexican duo (Pedro Esquirel and Dionecio Gonzales) provided displays of knife-throwing while Mexican lasso master Vincente Oro Passo gave exhibitions of his skills. There was a comic boxing routine,Professor Tshcernoff and his performing dogs, French Canadian contortionist Louis Martinetti, The Rixfords acrobatic troupe, Toyou Kichi, "the Marvellous and Artistic Japanese Twirler and Juggler" and Arab acrobat Saleem Nassar.

There were some attempts here to make the mises en scène more elaborate. Indian War Council had a cast of "seventeen different persons" and showed Buffalo Bill addressing the Indian warriors. The comic boxing of the Glenroy brothers was an extended stage routine entitled "The Tramp and the Athlete" and another comic boxing routine, by Charles Walton and John C. Slavin, was taken from Edward E. Rice's burlesque opera, 1492. then showing at the Garden theatre. Other films too reconstructed scenes from popular stage shows. George Lederer's "topical extravaganza", The Passing Show of 1894, starring Lucy Daly, ran at the Casino on Broadway from May to October 1894 (145 performances) and included black performers in a scene purporting to represent "Southern plantation life before the war". The trio (Joe Rastus, Denny Tolliver and Walter Wilkins) duly perfomed their jig and "breakdown" dance for the camera on 6 October 1894 (a film entitles "The Pickaninnies". The Sarashe sisters performed a dance from Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado, which had been at a theatre in Fifth Avenue during the Summer (Imperial Japanese Dance). In November Doretto (whose real name was Phil Lauter) and his partner "Robetta" performed their comic vaudeville routine "Heap Fun Laundry" which involved a comic chase (policeman in pursuit of Hop Lee, the chinaman).

The big stage hit from the end of the year (153 performances between October 1894 and March 1895 at Hoyt's Theatre) was Charles H. Hoyt's extravaganza A Milk White Flag: And It's Battle Scarred Followers on the Field of Mars and in the Court of Venus, billed as "a tribute to our citizen soldiers", but which was in fact a satire on the part-time citizen-soldiers whose "commanderies" now served a purely social function. Three films were shot in December based on the show, the first an ecentric costume-dance from the show, the second a brass band marching and the third, the finale, involving 34 performers, the most ever included in a Kinetoscope film.

By far the most interesting film shot at this period by Dickson, and virtually the only Edison film (apart from the very early blacksmithing scenes) to be really influential, was Fire Rescue Scene which purported to show firemen saving a family from its burning home and, although entirely staged and filmed in the Black Maria, involved elaborate smoke effects and the assistance of a local fire department. A similar and more elaborate fire-rescue scene, staged but filmed outdoors, would be made by Lumière the following year and was among the earliest Lumière films to be screened. Fire rescue films became one of the most significant early film-genres to emerge. Although supposedly documentary, such scene were of course fictions and this film, and the earlier Bar Room Scene, remain the only genuinely "composed" films that Dickson would make during his time with Edison. "Reconstruction" remained an important feature of the first films shot in 1985. Their was another multi-reel boxing match, although, after the exorbitant cost of the Corbett-Courtney bout, Edison was reluctant to attempt anything further on te same scale. This bout was between a middle-aged trainer, Billy Edwards, and an "unknown" called Warwick (Billy Edwards and the Unknown) but again only one round of the five has survived. A more dramatic variant filmed in January 1895 was a five-round Gladitorial Combat between Captain Duncan C. Ross and Lieutenant Hartung fought with broadswords on horseback. John W. Wilson and Bertha Waring performed dances from another musical burlesque revue, Little Christopher Columbus, another hit-show at the Garden theatre that had transferred from London (John W. Wilson and Bertha Waring) while the Jamies performed a scene from Rob Roy, then showing in Herald Square. Further black artists were filmed, the "buck" dancer Elsie Jones (Elsie Jones I-II) and James Grundy, then appearing in The South Before the War at the Bijou theatre, who performed a cake walk, buck and wing dance, and breakdown (James Grundy). One curiosity was a "lively political debate" debate performed by George Topack and George Steel (representing Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison) (Topack and Steel). Trilby, the Paul M. Potter play based on George du Maurier's novel, opened at the Garden Theatre on April 15th 1895, with Virginia Harned in the title-role and was "an instant and deserved success, which swelled at times to the proportions of a triumph". Edison's crew shot four scenes from the play: Death Scene, Dance Scene, Hypnotic Scene, and Trilby Quartette. The Death Scene was, interestingly, a burlesque version (taken perhaps from the parody Thrilby which had been playing at the Garrick in February). An attempt was made in April 1895 to revive the original dream of a "Kinetophone", that is to say, a Kinetoscope that included synchronised sound, a combination of kinetoscope and phonograph, with the spectator looking throughthe peephole viewer listening simultaneously to a recording through earphones. Dickson produced a short test film of himself playing the violin with the soundtrack recorded on a wax cylinder. The machines were constructed and marketed (for as much as 400 dollars) but the days of the peepshow were over (even with added sound), the demand was slack (Only forty-five had been made by 1900) and no further attempt was made to make films specially for them. A public showing of a four-minute film takes place in a storefront at 153 Broadway, New York on May 20 of this year. not interested in It was a boxing match which had been filmed by Woodville Latham and his sons Otway and Grey. The staged fight had been filmed on the roof of Madison Square Garden. The boxers were known as 'Young Griffo' and 'Battling Barnett'. When asked by son Otway Latham whether a scene could be projected on a screen like in the Kinetoscope parlours, father Woodville answered, "You can project anything on a screen that you can see with the naked eye and which can be photographed." One month earlier to this event, the Latham men showed off their Eidolscope. The scenes were of children and one man smoking his pipe. The Eidolscope was a co-invention between Woodville Latham and William Dickson. Some commentators however have attributed the Eidolscope to one Eugene Lauste. In May of 1895 The New York World proudly asserted . . . . "Life size presentations they are and will be, and you won't have to squint into a little hole to see them. You'll sit comfortably and see fighters hammering each other, circuses, suicides, hangings, electrocutions, shipwrecks, scenes on the exchanges, street scenes, horse-races, football games, almost anything. You'll see people and things as they are." Approximately 27 days (November 21, 1895) before the Lumiere screening in Paris (December 28, 1895), Skladanowsky unveils his Bioscop (also Bioskop) at the Wintergarten Hall in Berlin and screens as few as eight short films totaling about fifteen minutes. His paying customers watched as two separate filmstrips projected at a rate of 16 frames per second. Skladanowsky's Bioscop was never to be a viable piece of machinery because of its cumbersomeness.

1895-1896: Lumière

Before even any film had been put on public view, "moving pictures" existed. Their use was in the study of motion, of anatomy and of medical pathologies and those who created such pictures were basically physiologists. Eadwearde Muybridge in the UK and the USA and Étienne-Jules Marey in France were the two most well-known pioneers in the field, whose work influenced all later developments in cinematography. But they were far from being the only ones working in this and allied fields. Albert Londe also developed a system for producing sequential photographs at the La Saltpêtrière hospital in Paris. He also worked with the French military on developing cinematography (or "chronophotography" as sequential photography was then generally called) for the study of ballistics. Georges Demenÿ's life was principally devoted to the cause of physical education, an area in which he was also an important pioneer, and it was this shared interest that brought him in contact with Marey whose asistant he became at the Station Physiologique in Paris. He also had theories about how chronophotography could be of assistance in teaching the deaf and dumb to lip-read.

There were, therefore, and would remain whole areas of film technology that had nothing to do with art or entertainment. The French surgeon Eugène-Louis Doyen, a keen chronophotographer, produced produced numerous films of his operations between 1898 and 1906. The great French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot worked closely with Londe at the Saltpetre hospital and made use of his sequential phototography in his study of hysteria and hypnosis. The Roumanian neurologist Gheorghe Marinescu made several films in his clinic between 1898 and 1901.

studies of motion
Étienne-Jules Marey
studies of motion
Albert Londe
studies of motion
Eadwearde Muybridge

Londe's falling horse The uses of "moving pictures" for scientific purposes wre never quite as distinct from the world of entertainment as one might imagine. Albert Londe, for instance, had wide artistic interests beside his work at the hospital. He was a founder-member of an amateur photographic society (Société d'excursions des amateurs photographes),reviewed plays, was an amateur artist and involved the organisaion of a major art exhibition, « Le Nu au salon » at the Palais des Champs Élyssés and in the Champs du Mars in Paris in May-June 1896. One of the doctors with whom he worked, Richer, was also an artist and sculptor, as much concerned with the aesthetic aspects of the human anatomy. Londe's early chronophotography included such subjects as "the falling horse" (pictured left).

The tension between the "scientific" and the "non-scientific" became particularly acute, almost at times humorously so, in the case of Étienne-Jules Marey and his assistant at the Station Physiologique, Georges Demenÿ. The two men had met through a shared interest in physical education, Demenÿ's lifelong passion, but, after Demenÿ became Marey's assistant at the Station Physologique, he devised for Marey a system of projection (initially called "phenakistoscope"),a crucial development beacuse this was the main technical problem with which all the pioneers wrestled. Several hundred filmstrips of high technical and aesthetic quality (over four hundred survive) were made at the Station, including very elegant self-portraits of Marey and Demenÿ and an 1894 film of a falling cat (pictured right). Marey's falling cat

In 1892-3, very much on his own initiative, but tolerated by Marey, Demenÿ shot a series of films of ballerinas from l'Opéra de Paris for Maurice Emmanuel, a composer and expert on Hellenistic dance. With the development of the projector (renamed the Phonoscope), Demenÿ became increasingy fascinated by the commercial possibilities of the invention, somehting to which Marey, who continued to think of chronophotography essentially as a tool for scientific research, was indifferent if not hostile.

He nevertheless permitted Demeneÿ to take out a patent for the "Phonoscope" projector on 3 March 1892 and to present the device successfully at the Exposition Internationale de Photographie de Paris that same year. The exhibition was agreat success and Demenÿ claimed to have received « an avalanche of requests" from showmen for the projector.In order to commercialise the projection system, Demebÿ had need of Marey's co-operation to produce the accompanying cameras. That autumn he persuaded a very reluctant Marey to manufacture six new cameras for this purpose and in December relations between the two men soured when Demenÿ formed a company to market the devices with the assistance of two powerful financial backers, the German chocolate maufacturer Ludwig Stollwerck of Cologne and a Swiss businessman William Gibbs Clarke (represented by his stepson François-Henri Lavanchy-Clarke). Mistrustful of Demenÿ, he repatented his own camera on 29 June 1893. Demenÿ and his business asssociates decided to bypass Marey altogether and develop their own camera. Marey, furious, demanded Demenÿ's resignation from the Station Physologique.

Demenÿ attempted to market his own camera and projection system (now called the Chromotaographe and the Phonoscope) but with no success. Abandoned by his financial backers, Demenÿ turned for aid to Léon Gaumont, manager of a business specialising in photographic equipement. The Phonoscope, renamed the Bioscope, went on sale in November 1895, just a month before the Lumière brothers made their first public demonstration of their own "Cinématographe". When the Demenÿ camera still failed to find buyers, Gaumont drew up a new contract with Demenÿ by which the latter would make films for him. The contract even enbvisaged the building of a cinema. Some 150 films were shot built,with the aid of other photographers including Albert Londe, but, without the cinema,problems of distribution remained. Gaumont became impatient with the whole business and broke with Demenÿ in 1896 (while still holding onto the Bioscope camera). A disillusioned Demenÿ retruned to his first love, physical education, to which hed evoted the rest of his life and eventually ceded all his rights in his invention to Gaumont in 1901 for the derisory sum of 500 francs.

Scène d'hypnotisme
Lumière operator: Scène d'hypnotisme (1897)
The X-Ray Fiend
G. A. Smith: The X-Ray Fiend (1897)
Chirurgie fin de siècle
Henri Vallouy: Chirurgie fin de siècle

"Cinema" had ceased to be the hobby of eccentric scientists and enthusiastic amateurs and had become a business. (see Cinema as business). The inteerst in science remained, however, but esssentially in its more sensational aspects. Radiography or "X-rays", whose discovery in 1895 by Wilhelm Röntgen rather eclipsed the birth of the cinema, mesmerism and hypnosis, known of since the eighteenth century but becoming part of mainstream medical treatment at this time, and eventually the psychoanalytical theories of Sigmund Freud and his contemporaries.Its association with science was, and has remained, one of areas in which cinema most firmly identified itself with a conception of "modernity".