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Andalusian Dance (1896)

 |  Documentary, Short  |  1896 (UK)
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Documentary | Short




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1896 (UK)  »

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19 November 2009 | by ( – See all my reviews

Robert Paul is a largely forgotten name today, but he was a major pioneer of British cinema, and was quick to grasp the commercial potential of cinema in ways that better known pioneers such as William Friese-Greene were not. He was more of a mechanic than a filmmaker making, with Birt Acres, his own camera on which to shoot films in 1895, and also Britain's first projector, the Animatograph, with which to screen them in 1896. Early in the 20th century he had a custom-made studio built in Muswell Hill.

This film survives today only as a Filoscope (a sort of flicker book made up of individual photos the figures on which, when the book is flicked, look as though they are moving) which was recently discovered in the Bill Douglas Centre in Exeter. It's not much to see, really, just a couple of Spanish dancers frantically doing their thing, but it holds a place in history as possibly being the oldest surviving film shot in Spain.

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