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 ...
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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 »
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 »
Wintertime in Lyon. 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 »
In front of a flour mill, two men fight. One is the miller, and he's swinging a bag of flour in the scuffle. The other is a chimney sweep, and he's swinging what may be a bag of flour, but ... 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 photographer has his camera all set up to take a gentleman's picture. The subject checks his face in a hand mirror, and the photographer poses him. Just as the photographer is about to ... See full summary »
Members of the French Photographic Society arrive from a riverboat to their congress venue in Neuville-sur-Saône on a summer day. They go ashore across a wooden landing stage. Among the ... See full summary »
Footage shot not long after the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco is edited together so that more than one scene and more than one vantage are included. We see fire raging. We see burned-out... 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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