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 »
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 ... 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 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 »
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 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 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,
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 ... 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 ... 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 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 that pedestrians who are crossing the street do so safely. Horse-drawn carriages pass as well. The men wear hats and ties; the lads wear caps; the women are in long skirts. Written by
This footage of New York City at Broadway and Union Square is interesting, detailed, and well-photographed. It is worthwhile historically, both in preserving what the area looked like and in preserving some of the routines of daily life in its day. Though both have no doubt changed considerably, early movies like this make it possible to remember them.
As with so many of the early Lumière features, this one is worth watching a number of times so that you can see all the detail. The activity in the foreground, with the vehicles, the pedestrians, and the policeman directing all of them, grabs your attention first. There is also some fairly good detail of some large buildings in the distant background, which come to the eye next. Finally, there is a good bit of action going on in the nearer, but less noticeable, part of the background.
No doubt much of what appears in this footage will at first seem old-fashioned or even quaint, yet footage of our cities of today will probably seem equally so in a century or so from now. Short movies like this serve a valuable purpose in keeping alive the ways of life in long-past eras, so that thoughtful viewers can think for themselves about what is different, at least on the surface, and what is essentially the same.
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