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Poultry-Yard (1896)

Basse-cour (original title)
Two girls do one of their chores. Standing alongside a tree-lined farmhouse, two children who are about ten and four years old toss grain to a flock of about 50 domesticated ducks. A woman ... See full summary »
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Two girls do one of their chores. Standing alongside a tree-lined farmhouse, two children who are about ten and four years old toss grain to a flock of about 50 domesticated ducks. A woman watches them briefly and then moves on. The older girl has her grain in a bucket, the younger one's grain is in her apron. The children stay in one spot, as does the camera; it's the ducks that move around. Chickens are in the background; only one braves the ducks' territory. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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1896 (France)  »

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Poultry-Yard  »

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Edited into Landmarks of Early Film (1997) See more »

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Bland But Pleasant, With A Nostalgic Feel
27 July 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

While surely one of the blandest of the early Lumière features, "Poultry-Yard" is still pleasant footage to watch, with a nostalgic feel to it. As a still photograph, it probably would have worked much better: the composition is good, as is usual with the Lumière movies, and in a still photo the reflective, evocative feel would be more noticeable and more important than the lack of any significant action.

The subject is simple, showing two young girls feeding a large number of domesticated ducks, with an occasional chicken or two also in view. While it's a familiar scene without anything particularly imaginative to it, it is the kind of picture that, in almost any era, usually brings to mind a wistful feeling of bygone eras and of bygone ways of life. As far as that goes, this short feature does so fairly well.


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