A stationary camera looks across Burgundy's River Sâone toward a small military encampment. Four horsemen enter the water in the foreground, each riding his horse as it swims across toward ...
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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 »
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 male lion, right next to bars that are about 6 or 8 inches apart, keenly watches a uniformed zoo attendant toss small morsels of food into the cage. The lion alternates between finding ... 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 »
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 »
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,
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 »
A stationary camera captures the hustle and bustle of Manhattan on Broadway at Union Square in Greenwich Village. As streetcars pass with rapid regularity, two police officers make sure ... 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 conjurer with white beard and turban moves about in front of a building with an elaborate facade. He spies a golden beetle, about the size of a human infant, leaning against the wall. He ... See full summary »
Fin de siécle elegance. A parade of sorts passes in front of a stationary camera. An ostrich pulls a cart in which two well-dressed girls sit, two mules pull a large cart full of children, ... See full summary »
A stationary camera looks across Burgundy's River Sâone toward a small military encampment. Four horsemen enter the water in the foreground, each riding his horse as it swims across toward camp or leading it by the bridle as they swim. The men are shirtless. When they reach the middle of the river, seven more shirtless young men, each with a horse, start the crossing. Most begin astride their mount, but end up swimming alongside. Across the river, men stand in front of a large tent to watch and talk. Three officers on a makeshift pier talk to each other and ignore the young men's crossing. Written by
This is an approximately 45-second long Lumiere Brothers actuality (Lumiere No. 186) of dragoons crossing the Sâone River on horseback to meet up with a "camp" on the other side.
I don't know much of the historical background of this actuality, but it looks like the dragoons and camp may be in this section of the Sâone River, which is in the northeast of France, to build a bridge. We can see the makings of a bridge in the upper right hand portion of the frame.
Aesthetically, there is a hint of visual composition that is found in many Lumiere Brothers shorts--the crossing dragoons suggest an oblique from the right hand side of the frame towards the upper left. Dragoons Crossing the Sâone also has what we could call "processional" action, another common Lumiere Brothers characteristic, which is often cyclical, but it's more linear here. The oblique is obscure at first as the short begins with only four dragoons who make it halfway across the Sâone River before seven more follow in the processional and make the oblique clear.
Also interesting are the twenty-something people in the camp on the far shore of the river. They stand relatively motionless, apparently waiting for the dragoons to arrive. Many of them have suits on, which seems strange if they're either in the military or a construction crew.
For me, this short isn't nearly as rewarding aesthetically as some of the Lumiere Brothers' other work. It has a fair amount of historical and novelty value, however.
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