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The Revenge of a Kinematograph Cameraman (1912)

Mest kinematograficheskogo operatora (original title)
A jilted husband takes his revenge by filming his wife and her lover and showing the result at the local cinema. This was one of Starewicz' first animated films, and stars very realistic ... See full summary »
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Storyline

A jilted husband takes his revenge by filming his wife and her lover and showing the result at the local cinema. This was one of Starewicz' first animated films, and stars very realistic animated beetles. Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

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Release Date:

27 October 1912 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

The Revenge of a Kinematograph Cameraman  »

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1.33 : 1
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Goofs

When the movie is shown in the theater, the camera angle is the one where we saw the scene from, but not the one where the grasshopper filmed the scene from. See more »

Connections

Featured in Animated Century (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
At home with The Beetles
2 April 2012 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

Decades before David Lynch or Gary Larson were even born, Wladyslaw Starewicz was creating surreal animated films featuring insects living in houses, driving cars and committing adulterous affairs. Yes, this short feature is way ahead of its time and remains to this day quite extraordinary. The very idea of depicting a domestic love triangle with insect characters is bizarre to say the least. The fact that the subject matter is clearly one aimed at adults not children shows that at this very early stage in the development of animation it wasn't necessarily obvious that this new form was perfect for children's features. No, this is more like a surrealist film, except of course, surrealism hadn't actually been invented yet! Yes, it has to be said that The Cameraman's Revenge is a highly original bit of work, and one that without question should be far better known.

The story is about a jealous grasshopper cameraman who films an illicit affair between Mr. Beetle and an exotic dragonfly dancer from the 'Gay Dragonfly' nightclub. Mr. Beetle's wife, Mrs. Beetle is simultaneously conducting a secret friendship with a floppy hat wearing artist insect. Mr. Beetle catches them in in a compromising situation and angrily drives him away. The Beetles then make up and go to the cinema but lo and behold the projectionist is our grasshopper friend and he splices in footage of the adulterous Mr. Beetle in action. Mrs. Beetle goes crazy and batters him over the head with an umbrella. The fight escalates and ends up in the projection booth catching fire and the Beetles are imprisoned for their actions. In jail they start to make up with one and other.

I don't usually bother to write synopsis in my reviews, or if I do I make it very brief. But I have made an exception for this film, as recounting this madness is a bit of a strange pleasure actually. This really is a one off as far as I can tell, I am unaware of any other insect-based love triangle films about angry and immoral insects. The animation itself is excellent and is a clear precursor for the stop-motion work of the more famous Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen. But for sheer originality and general weirdness, Cameraman's Revenge is the one. I would recommend this to anyone with a wish to see something a bit different to the norm.


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