A large number of workers, mostly young women, leave by the front door of their work place at lunch time. The building has an impressive colonnaded facade, and is located at 181, Santa ...
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A large number of workers, mostly young women, leave by the front door of their work place at lunch time. The building has an impressive colonnaded facade, and is located at 181, Santa Catarine St., Porto - one of the city's main streets. A passengers' horse cart crosses from right to left of the screen, and a few seconds after an ox cart carrying merchandise crosses in the opposite direction. All the while, workers keep leaving the factory, giving a sense of a large work force.Written by
The birth of Portugal cinema (and no, it's not lost!)
It's difficult for us Brazilian folks to not compare ourselves with our Portuguese cousins due to both nations past history with them "discovering" us back in 1500 (actually a few years earlier but for the books what counts is 1500) and then goes a lot of love/hate feelings and cruel jokes with one another. But one thing I must admit: they preserved better their film history! We may have more Oscar nominations (so far, four in the Best Foreign Language Film plus "City of God" takeover in other categories; against none from Portugal) and Palme D'Or wins (Ok, we have just one) but at least the richest landmarks from the filmic past of the land of Camões is still existing and still can be seen - while many of the Brazilian film pioneers works are presumably lost, obscure or little is known (the oldest Brazilian film I ever seen dates back from 1910 and bear in mind that our cinema allegedly started in 1898!).
I'll give you that, Portugal, you beat us in this game. But enough of that. Pioneer Aurélio da Paz dos Reis made his entire career in just one year (1896) directing 36 short films and among them, this one "Workers Exit from the Confiança Shirt Factory", inspired by the Lumière Brothers venture with "Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory",the groundbreaking film that officially started all, movies as we know it in the complete definition - in terms of experiments the world has seen similar things to films back in 1887 (with credits on IMDb!).
Speaking of Lumière, this short is almost a carbon copy: we see a group of women leaving a factory, some men walking on the street. Difference is that this clip seems longer and there's even a small chariot making its way while the crowd passes by. Birth of cinema is basically a documentary of the day-to-day life, nothing so mesmerizing though always important as a register, a vivid proof of different eras, different times, a memory that must stand in some way. Relics to be preserved. And since this preciosity still stands against the test of time, it gets a symbolical high praise from me.
Not lost at all, easily found on YouTube and also in the Cinemateca Portuguesa - Museu Do Cinema, a film institute that preserves Portugual's film memory. 10/10
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