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Démolition d'un mur (1896)

6.3
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Auguste Lumière directs four workers in the demolition of an old wall at the Lumière factory. One worker is pressing the wall inwards with a jackscrew, while another is pushing it with a ... See full summary »

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Title: Démolition d'un mur (1896)

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Auguste Lumière directs four workers in the demolition of an old wall at the Lumière factory. One worker is pressing the wall inwards with a jackscrew, while another is pushing it with a pick. When the wall hits the ground, a cloud of white dust whirls up. Three workers continue the demolition of the wall with picks. Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

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Plot Keywords:

demolition | 1890s | 19th century

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Documentary | Short

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15 April 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Demolition of a Wall  »

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1.33 : 1
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Historically interesting in regards the developmental work of Lumière but that's about the lot
3 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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.

Anyway onto this film which is an early action scene wherein, as you may already know if you have some basic French – a wall is demolished. I do like early silent films that have these descriptive titles and it would be useful to have it today – for example Transformers could have been "big CGI things hitting one another for reasons you'll not care about" and so on. So this is what it does and it is interesting to see the absence of EHS here as the wall is essentially just pushed over. Once it has fallen the film plays backwards to show the wall being recreated. It is a simple effect that offers little to the modern viewer but I imagine that it made a bit of a stir when it happened to audiences in the day.

Otherwise though, it is so-so film to watch because walls falling down are not that interesting, if they were we would have summer blockbusters about such events (well I suppose we do but it is all about scale). Historically interesting in regards the developmental work of Lumière but that's about the lot.


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