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Two men are playing a friendly game of cards, while a third man sits at the same table and watches them. As the game proceeds, a waiter brings a tray with a bottle and some glasses. The spectator pours the drinks, while the waiter turns his attention to the game, which he finds quite entertaining. Written by
Interesting for its tight shot and multiple focal points
I watched this film on a DVD that was rammed with short films from the period. I didn't watch all of them as the main problem with these type of things that their value is more in their historical novelty value rather than entertainment. So to watch them you do need to be put in the correct context so that you can keep this in mind and not watch it with modern eyes. With the Primitives & Pioneers DVD collection though you get nothing to help you out, literally the films are played one after the other (the main menu option is "play all") for several hours. With this it is hard to understand their relevance and as an educational tool it falls down as it leaves the viewer to fend for themselves, which I'm sure is fine for some viewers but certainly not the majority. What it means is that the DVD saves you searching the web for the films individually by putting them all in one place but that's about it.
With this film we have the usual action that is summed up in the title. In essence watching this action is quite dull because there is not a "pay-off" or a reason to watch it but here I actually found myself held by the film. What it was I realised was that the camera had a very small area within its view but it had four characters within this small area. With this small area we have two men playing one another, another pouring drinks and a waiter looking on and laughing. Dramatically it offers nothing but I was surprised by the amount of stuff happening and how many focal points we had. Do I look at the game, the man pouring or try and see what the waiter finds so funny? It was the first time one of these films on the DVD had done this to me and the first one that engaged.
Of course I'm not saying this is an attempt at a Short Cuts multi-layered film but it was nice to find this much movement all working together in such a tight short from Lumière.
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