The sound has been found in the form of an old Edisonian recording cylinder. The cylinder was repaired, then Walter Murch ACE MPSE synced the film to the correct music in (I believe) 2002. Total running time is approximately 17 seconds.
A smoker falls asleep, and two mischievious fairies play with his pipe. He discovers this, and imprisons them in a cigar box. He removes a flower from the box, which contains a fairy ... See full summary »
Porter's sequential continuity editing links several shots to form a narrative of firemen responding to a house fire. They leave the station with their horse drawn pumper, arrive on the ... See full summary »
George S. Fleming,
Edwin S. Porter
James H. White
This film shows the demolition of the historic Star Theatre building (formerly Wallack's) at the corner of Broadway and 13th Street, New York. To secure this unique picture a Biograph camera was kept constantly at work by specially devised electric apparatus for weeks, during which time exposures were made every four minutes, 8 hours a day. Before the contractors began their work of tearing down and after the last vestige of the building had been removed, 15 seconds of exposure at normal speed were made. Thus in the finished positive one views at first the old Star Theatre standing as it had for years looking down with serenity upon the bustle of Broadway traffic. Then as if struck by a tornado of supernatural strength, the building begins to crumble. Chimneys totters, walls cave in, and whole stories vanish, until at last the site shows only a cellar excavation; and the Broadway cars with the sidewalk procession continue as if nothing unusual had happened. When this view is shown in ... Written by
AMB Picture Catalogue (1902)
One of the 50 films in the 4-disk boxed DVD set called "Treasures from American Film Archives (2000)", compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 18 American film archives. This film was preserved by the Library of Congress. This version has a piano music score and runs 96 seconds. See more »
For 1901, this footage is impressive both in its creativity and in its quality. It would be easy to believe that it had been made much later than it actually was. The time-lapse technique works remarkably well, and it creates an interesting and very watchable movie.
The idea is a simple one, but ambitious for its time. As a massive old theater building was being torn down, a film crew from American Mutoscope & Biograph set up a stationary camera timed to take photographs at regular intervals over the entire course of the process, creating a fast-paced movie of the building's demolition. The illusion works perfectly, and it is also very interesting to watch. Almost as interesting as the building itself are some of the other details in the surrounding neighborhood. An awning in the foreground continually appears and disappears, along with many other such details.
The earliest film-makers often showed quite an imagination and some determined resourcefulness in their efforts to get the most out of their equipment. Although footage like this is now more commonplace and is easier to obtain, this pioneering effort well deserves to be remembered and watched.
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