This is the second oldest Lumiere film I've seen in which we see a cameraman filming an actuality. The first was "Paris Festival 1899: Parade of Flowered Automobiles". The first time you do something, it's a novelty. The second time it's exhaustion -- no new ideas, so we'll do something that worked before.
The Lumieres' contribution to cinema was their understanding of the rules of good photography; their comprehension of how conflicting lines of motion helped sustain interest; and their willingness to travel to the ends of the earth to find interesting subjects to film. Look at their films from 1896. The rest of the industry wouldn't begin to catch up for a decade and looking at them in 2012 they are still striking and beautiful. Yet by the time they added this one to their catalogue they had run out of ideas. They were rephotographing works that others had done, particularly music hall acts.
The Lumieres would add new titles through 1905, but they had nothing new to say. That does not mean that their earlier work should not be praised. It simply means that, like the items in their catalogue, they had become a back number.
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