6.0/10
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13 user 2 critic

Grandma's Reading Glass (1900)

A boy looks through glasses at various objects, seen magnified.

Star:

Harold Smith
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Cast

Credited cast:
Harold Smith ... Willy - the little grandson
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Storyline

Demonstrating the brand-new technique of close-up through the use of a circular mask, the director alternates medium shots with extreme point-of-view shots to simulate the magnification of various objects. As a sweet grandmother organises her sewing basket, Willy, her inquisitive little grandson, plays with her magnifying glass to look at the inside of a pocket watch, only to soon turn his attention to a caged bird, grandmother's rolling eye, and lastly, a well-fed cat. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Family

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Details

Country:

UK

Release Date:

November 1900 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A nagymama nagyítója See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the very first films to use point-of-view close-up. See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting for the device utilised to convey "point of view"
24 February 2008 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

I watched this film on a DVD that was rammed with short films from the period. I didn't watch all of them as the main problem with these type of things that their value is more in their historical novelty value rather than entertainment. So to watch them you do need to be put in the correct context so that you can keep this in mind and not watch it with modern eyes. With the Primitives & Pioneers DVD collection though you get nothing to help you out, literally the films are played one after the other (the main menu option is "play all") for several hours. With this it is hard to understand their relevance and as an educational tool it falls down as it leaves the viewer to fend for themselves, which I'm sure is fine for some viewers but certainly not the majority. What it means is that the DVD saves you searching the web for the films individually by putting them all in one place – but that's about it.

As with his Kiss In the Tunnel, British pioneer George Smith (an English name if ever there was one!) again works with the devices possible with the camera for telling the audience what is happening. Here it is the "point of view" technique where the screen is seen through a circular frame that makes the viewer understand that this is the view from the character's eye. It is a simple device that is not used any more because of how obvious it has become but at the time this was cutting edge stuff because these techniques were not developed and the audience was being told what this meant.

Substance wise the film is again like Kiss in the Tunnel in so much as, when the technical interest is put to one side, there isn't much else to be had from it. Still, worth seeing as part of learning more about why Smith should be a name that is mentioned alongside the work of people like Lumière.


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