Luis Martinetti, Contortionist (1894)

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Luis Martinetti, a contortionist suspended from acrobatic flying rings, contorts himself for about thirty seconds. This is one of the first films made for Edison's kinetoscopes.


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Uncredited cast:
Luis Martinetti ...
Himself (uncredited)


Vaudeville performer Luis Martinetti demonstrates his novelty acrobatic act. Performing on the flying rings, he puts his legs through the rings and then contorts himself so that his head is between his legs. He swivels around to take up several different positions, in each case twisting his body around as necessary. Written by Snow Leopard

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Also Known As:

Луи Мартинетти, человек-змея  »

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Did You Know?


One of the 50 films in the 4-disk boxed DVD set called "Treasures from American Film Archives (2000)", compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 18 American film archives. This film was preserved by the Academy Film Archive, Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences. This version has an uncredited piano music score and runs 26 seconds. See more »


Featured in Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) See more »

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For Fans of Early Cinema
17 August 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Luis Martinetti, Contortionist (1894)

This early Edison kinetoscope isn't going to be for most people but if you're a fan of early cinema then it holds enough historical interest to make it worth viewing. Luis Martinetti, forgotten today, shows what he can do on the flying rings as his acrobatic act is put on film for people to be able to view over a hundred years after it was made. While watching these very small movies I often wonder what those who took part in it would think if they were brought back and told that film buffs would still be viewing these films all these decades later. At just 25-seconds no one should be expecting any type of "story" or "performance" but that really doesn't matter but what's so interesting here is the bit of history we the viewer get to see. Martinetti is certainly forgotten today but thanks to Edison we at least get to see someone who people back in the day enjoyed and flocked to see. The film basically features him doing a few tricks on the flying rings and that's it. Nothing ground-breaking but it's still fascinating for fans of early cinema.

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