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A Sea Cave Near Lisbon (1896)

The water beats relentlessly against the Hell's Mouth (Boca do Inferno), one of the main natural attractions of Lisbon's west coast, filmed from above almost in a vertical plunge onto the deep, rocky ground.

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The water beats relentlessly against the Hell's Mouth (Boca do Inferno), one of the main natural attractions of Lisbon's west coast, filmed from above almost in a vertical plunge onto the deep, rocky ground.

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Documentary | Short

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29 October 1896 (Portugal)  »

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A Boca do Inferno  »

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Featured in Félix Ribeiro - Dr. Celulóide (1980) See more »

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I could write anything and it would be years before anyone found out...
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, so short it barely qualifies for the title, is a good early example of how a dramatically framed shot can enhance a film. It's filmed from within a cave, the entrance of which serves as a frame for the waves that crash over rocks before flowing into the cave. Beyond the rocks, the horizon can be glimpsed.


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