The immobility of the camera is clearly an issue in this Lumiere short. The players look at the camera, some grinning briefly, perhaps at its presence, perhaps at the thought of the fun to come -- at this stage, the players were likely a mix of amateurs and semi-professionals, so it was an extra frisson.
Once the event starts, everyone concentrates on the events in hand, although the camera is not positioned to catch what is going on. Is this a practice session or an actual game? Hard to tell from this angle, and that is the flaw in this film.
The Lumiere efforts were generally impeccable in their composition and by this time usually offered interesting studies in movement that even more than a century later can offer some insight into how to shoot something. This fails on both accounts, but may be of some value as an extremely early film of football.
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