40 international directors were asked to make a short film using the original Cinematographe invented by the Lumière Brothers, working under conditions similar to those of 1895. There were three rules: (1) The film could be no longer than 52 seconds, (2) no synchronized sound was permitted, and (3) no more than three takes. The results run the gamut from Zhang Yimou's convention-thwarting joke to David Lynch's bizarre miniature epic. Written by
Mike D'Angelo <email@example.com>
The idea to gather 40 recognized film directors to shoot a mini film of less than a minute, or what would have been the format the Lumiere brothers used in their revolutionary camera, seems a great idea in paper. Unfortunately, what comes out is an uneven film where some of the short films hold our interest and some others that don't go anywhere.
What must have been an interesting idea doesn't translate to brilliant film making in the finished product. This documentary is for fans of the medium, but will not be of any interest to a casual viewer. Some of the most enjoyable ones are the ones by David Lynch, Helma Sanders, Claude Lelouch, Jaco Van Dormael, and Bigas Luna, just to mention a few. The rest, hold some interest, but don't quite add anything new to the idea behind the project.
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