Leaving the Factory
Workers leaving the Lumière factory for lunch in Lyon, France in 1895; a place of great photographic innovation and one of the birth places of cinema.Workers leaving the Lumière factory for lunch in Lyon, France in 1895; a place of great photographic innovation and one of the birth places of cinema.Workers leaving the Lumière factory for lunch in Lyon, France in 1895; a place of great photographic innovation and one of the birth places of cinema.
Of the 10 short movies that were shown during that historic day, "La Sortie Des Usines Lumière" (literally "Exiting the Lumière Factory") was the very first to be screened. The film shows the many workers of the Lumière factory as they walk through the gates of the factory, leaving the building at the end of a hard day of work. While a very basic "actuality film" (movie depicting a real event), the movie took everyone in the audience by surprise, as their concept of moving pictures was limited to Edison's "Peep Show" machines (the Kinetoscope), the brothers' invention was like nothing they had seen before and so the audience stood in awe, as the people and the horses moved across the screen. The idea wasn't entirely new (Le Prince shot the first movie as early as 1888), but the way of showing the movie was simply revolutionary.
"La Sortie Des Usines Lumière" would become the first in the long series of "actuality films" that the Lumière would produce over the years. This primitive form of documentary was the brothers' favorite kind of film because they were more interested in the technological aspects of their invention than in the uses the Cinématographe could have. Despite the initial lack of enthusiasm, after the first showing the Cinématographe became a great success and "La Sortie Des Usines Lumière" quickly became an iconic image of that first screening. It definitely wasn't the first movie the brothers shot that year, and it probably wasn't the best of the 10 movies shown that day (personally I think that "L' Arroseur Arrosé" was the best of the 10); however, it is really meaningful that the very first movie was the opening of a pair of gates, as literally, this movie opened the gates to cinema as we know it. 8/10
- Apr 24, 2007