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The Barbershop (1894)

Customer gets a lightning-fast shave.
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Storyline

"Interior of Barber Shop. Man comes in, takes off his coat; sits down, smokes; is handed a paper by attendant, who points out a joke; both laugh. Meantime the man in the chair is shaved and has his hair cut. Very funny." Written by Edison's Latest Wonders (1894)

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Genres:

Documentary | Short

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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

1894 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Barber Shop See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Among the first group of motion pictures to be exhibited commercially in the world, when the Holland Bros.' Kinetoscope Parlor opened on Broadway in New York City on 14 April 1894. See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years at the Movies (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

The Choreography of Layers
27 December 2004 | by tedgSee all my reviews

The history of anything involves trying to discover the accidents of convention that stuck. Movies could have taken off from any of a number of the already mature arts: especially painting. It turned out — much the worse I fear — to have adjusted to become a continuation of drama, probably starting in earnest with "Birth of a Nation."

But here we have a very early film, an experiment really, that shows one link that continues today, the link with dance.

I'm particularly fond of modern films that reconnect with the notions of dance — especially the dancing eye of the camera — whether they have explicit dancing in them.

This is framed as a contemporary photograph, which means it inherits the painterly conventions of composition of the time. But see how well the motion is planned in two layers: a foreground and background. This comes from the dance tradition, especially the choreography of the day.

And it has stuck with us all this time as a basic rule. Pretty interesting, that. And accidental too, I surmise.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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