A stationary camera is set at a curve in the train tracks, with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. From the bridge, a four-car streetcar approaches and turns to he viewer's left. As it ... See full summary »
A household gardener is outside watering the garden. Unknown to him, the son of another servant sneaks up behind him and steps on the hose, stopping the flow of water. The befuddled ... See full summary »
Walking four abreast, in groups of six rows, 144 of Chicago's finest parade past a stationary camera. Each of the six groups that pass is escorted by an officer. All are men, all are white,... 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 stationary camera looks on as two dapper gents play a game of chess. One drinks and smokes, and when he looks away, his opponent moves two pieces. A fight ensues, first with the squirting... See full summary »
Two men are sitting at a card table in the middle of a garden, drinking and playing cards, while the household gardener is in the background watering the garden with a hose. The two men ... See full summary »
A stationary camera is set at a curve in the train tracks, with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. From the bridge, a four-car streetcar approaches and turns to he viewer's left. As it passes, a train going toward the bridge passes on the tracks in front. It has four cars as well, with a few passengers aboard. A train engine that is moving backwards follows that train. A man atop a tall ladder works on a light pole. Written by
Worth seeing for its historical interest alone, this Lumière footage of the Brooklyn Bridge also displays the good photography that characterizes so many of their films. Along with its companion film of Broadway and Union Square, it provides a living record of the New York City of its long-ago era. This feature also benefits from the prominent view of trains, which always seem to work so well on film.
The action simply focuses on trains and streetcars passing over the bridge in different directions. The motion works in making the scene much more alive than a still photograph would have been, and the camera field is set up nicely, looking across the bridge while catching plenty of action in the foreground.
In their own time, movies like this probably allowed a lot of viewers to "visit" places like New York, and to feel that they were a part of a larger world, even if they were not able to travel far from their own homes. Over a century later, they serve a different purpose, keeping alive a record of things as they were in their day.
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