One toddler and about ten children, not yet adolescents, use a shovel, rakes, and nets to scour an eddy by the sea as fully-dressed women (hats and all) and a few men look on and give ...
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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 »
Carmaux is in south-central France, near the Tarn River. As a brick of coke, about four feet high and three feet wide, is gradually pushed out of a smelter into a yard, one worker sprays it... See full summary »
In commedia dell'arte style, an actor on a stool presents six distinct characters through speedy application of whiskers and a hat or, in one case, a wig followed by a few gestures. First ... See full summary »
A gardener is watering his flowers, when a mischievous boy sneaks up behind his back, and puts a foot on the water hose. The gardener is surprised, and looks into the nozzle to find out why... See full summary »
A man opens the big gates to the Lumière factory. Through the gateway and a smaller doorway beside it, workers are streaming out, turning either left or right. Most of them are women in ... See full summary »
A baby is seated at a table between its cheerful parents, Auguste and Marguerite Lumière. While the father is feeding the baby with a spoon, the mother is pouring coffee into her cup. The ... See full summary »
Mrs. Auguste Lumiere,
Wintertime in Lyons. About a dozen people, men and women, are having a snowball fight in the middle of a tree-lined street. The cyclist coming along the road becomes the target of ... See full summary »
A man sleeps fitfully then dreams that a lovely woman is sitting at the foot of his bed. He reaches to embrace her and she becomes a minstrel, then Pierrot. The clown gestures to the moon ... See full summary »
One toddler and about ten children, not yet adolescents, use a shovel, rakes, and nets to scour an eddy by the sea as fully-dressed women (hats and all) and a few men look on and give advice. The boys are in short pants; the girls have pulled up their skirts and petticoats and stuck in their sashes. Not a clam is to be seen, although one lass checks her net a couple of times. The children's outfits (trim hats on each child and lace on each girl) suggest wealth and high society. Written by
This is an approximately 45-second long Lumiere Brothers actuality of children digging for clams in a tidal pool on a broad beach, with adults behind them. A donkey cart moves across the middle ground before exiting the right hand side of the frame. Far in the distance, you can see other scattered people on the beach, and beyond that, mountains. This is also known as "Lumiere No. 45".
It is interesting to note the similarity in visual composition between this short and the Lumiere Brothers' Swimming in the Sea (Baignade en mer, 1895). They use the same oblique angle here, only this time it is slightly more complex, being suggested by the tidal pool (and subsequently the children traipsing up and down looking for clams), the two pairs of adults standing along one side of the tidal pool, and the mountains. As in Swimming in the Sea, the oblique exaggerates perspective, providing great depth of field, which is further enhanced by the aerial perspective of the mountains in the distance. This technique appears continually in the Lumiere Brothers actualities.
Another recurrent compositional technique is the Lumiere Brothers' fondness for cyclical action, provided in Children Digging for Clams by the titular youngsters. The action is made even more complex here by the donkey cart and the layering--there are at least four layers of visual interest, counting the mountains, five if we count the expanse of sand between the second layer of adults and the scattered people in the distance.
Unlike many actualities, this short gives a charming, "homey" feeling for the era, putting the viewer right in the middle of this recreational outing. You wish you could pick up a net and participate.
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