No.18 in the Lumière catalogue really stands out. Most of their films were long shots of people in everyday situations, usually in a diagonal composition. So these poor fish did not have ...
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No.18 in the Lumière catalogue really stands out. Most of their films were long shots of people in everyday situations, usually in a diagonal composition. So these poor fish did not have much moving space neither in their housing nor in the framing of the picture. The resulting film is all the more remarkable in its beautiful simplicity and could be regarded as a precursor to the aquarium videos that were quite popular about a 100 years later. Aquaria have been around since the Roman Empire where they kept fish in marble tanks. From around the year 50 they were able to improve the view of their fish by replacing one marble plate with glass. Fish bowls were developed much later and are nowadays not considered as suitable for most fish.
This film from the Lumiere Brothers lasts just under a minute and in reality it's probably one of the least entertaining I've seen from them. I usually love these actuality movies but this one here is a little lame to say the least. Basically the camera is set up in front of a fish bowl and for about a minute we watch the fishes swim around. Yep, that's pretty much all there is to this film and it's really not all that entertaining. I love watching these actuality movies because they give you a chance to see things from the past as they really were. With this film here you see that fish pretty much swim the same way today as they did then.
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