CHAPTER 2 / Part 2


Table of Contents

Table of Contents




Although there were precedents for virtually everything that he did, for certain film historians (notably though not exclusively those who happen to be French), it was Louis Lumière, according to Miriam Rosen (an American), who “made it all seem clear, who developed the invention decisively and with absolute perfection.” Lumière, she says,

brought the disparate currents together, as inventor, manufacturer, operator, director, producer, and promoter. This is not to say that he originated, anticipated, or even prefigured subsequent developments . . ., but rather that he realized the possibilities of his time, with the science, the art, and the industry of the cinématographe. . . .[26]


             Auguste and Louis Lumière

“A Device for Obtaining and Viewing”: The Cinématographe

Beginning in the summer of 1894, Louis Lumière (1864-1948) and his brother Auguste (1862-1954), operators with their father of the Société Antoine Lumière et fils, a photographic-supplies firm second in the world only to Eastman, labored over a machine designed to improve on Edison’s peephole kinetoscope. They wanted to build a device, said Auguste, with which “we could project on a screen and show before a whole gathering animated scenes faithfully reproducing objects and people in movement.”[27] They received their first patent, citing an unnamed “device for obtaining and viewing chronophoto-graphic prints,” in February 1895 and gave their first demonstration in March.

By the end of March, they had filed an additional patent that included what was in reality their only major original contribution to motion-picture technology. Recall that the Lumières’ model—Edison’s kinetoscope—worked on a continuous-movement principle: the film moved smoothly through the projection gate as it was passed before the lens. When the Lumières tried to copy this principle by running unperforated film over a notched cylinder, the results were unsatisfactory. Louis solved the problem by devising an intermittent-movement mechanism now widely called a “claw,” which still does for many cameras what the Maltese cross and similar mechanisms still do for projectors (see Chapter 1.1).

Note that the Lumières’ apparatus, soon named the cinématographe, was designed for both “obtaining and viewing.” When they next demonstrated their machine, at the Congress of French Photographic Societies in June, Louis was able to astound the delegates by showing them footage of themselves taken just the day before (see Figure 2.15): the feat was possible because the cinématographe functioned as camera, projector, and printer (Figure 2.16). Because it also weighed just 16 pounds and was hand cranked rather than battery driven, it was also as portable as it was flexible.

The Lumières presented the first demonstration of the cinématographe for a paying audience in Paris on 28 December 1895. The legendary debut of the cinématographe at the Grand Café on the Boulevard des Capucines is often hailed as the world’s first commercial exhibition of projected motion pictures (Figure 2.17). Like most such claims, this one is under dispute, but whatever credit should go to this particular event, the Lumières’ acumen as businessmen soon assured them market leadership and secured their place in the history of the cinema. Indeed, the word cinema is derived from their cinématographe, which combined the Greek terms kinematos, “movement,” and graphein, “to write.”

“Movement Taken from Life”: The Motion Picture as Actualité

Louis Lumière shot virtually all the subjects that the Lumières showed in their early demonstrations. These programs consisted of eight to ten “views”—one-minute glimpses into the world that Lumière knew at first hand, whether public or private, ranging from local military exercises to vignettes of family life. Lumière’s earliest films demonstrate the practicality of the cinématographe, which was portable enough to be taken anywhere (see Figure 2.18). They also confirm the positive response of the press and public to Lumière’s preference for subject matter and manner of recording it. “Whatever the scene,” reported one newspaper of the Grand Café screening, “. . . and however many people . . . caught unaware in the doings of their life, you see them again, in natural size, with the colors, the perspectives, the distant skies, the houses, the streets, with the illusion of real life.”

“It’s life itself,” hyperbolized another journalist, who then conceded that the cinématographe had in any case made it possible to capture and marvel at “movement taken from life.”[28] By January 1896, the Grand Café was drawing daily crowds of 2,000 to 2,500 people who were, by all accounts, fascinated by the life-size, lifelike renderings of “nature in the raw” that soon became known as “actualités.” Unlike his American counterparts, who tended to specialize in vaudeville acts and sporting events, Lumière focused on the activities of familiar people in commonplace settings.

Lumière later told French film historian Georges Sadoul that his 1895 films “were intended above all to ‘reproduce life,’” but he hastened to add that “what always preoccupied me was the framing . . . of my subjects.”[29] These early films reflect the application of Lumière’s cultivated eye and his knowledge of photography to subjects that photographers, journalists, and theatrical entertainers had already introduced into the popular culture.

See the moving picture


                          Sortie d’usine

A Little Moment in Time: Sortie d’usine
  Sortie d’usine (Workers Leaving the Lumière FactoryFigure 2.19), which was photographed in August 1894 and shown in March 1895, is often cited as the first commercial moving picture. Depicting workers coming out of the Lumière et fils facility in Lyons, it also promotes the company as a maker of photography-related products. Indeed, its first showing was at a convention to promote French industry.

In less than one minute, however, Lumière manages to invest his new form of imagery with values borrowed from the crafts of both storytelling and painting: a little moment in time is balanced nicely between the opening and closing of the factory doors, with the doorway itself framing the action both horizontally and vertically. The flow of the crowd into the bottom corners of the frame maximizes the sense of movement, and there’s even a little symbolism: a number of bicycles, still a luxury for most members of the French working class, suggests both the prosperity of the work force and generosity of the employer.[30]

See the moving picture


                        Repas de bébé

Incidental Details and Unplanned Gestures: Repas de bébé
  Whether he found or contrived them, Lumière looked to the everyday world rather than to the theater for his subjects. Unlike Sortie d’usine, for example, Repas de bébé (The Baby’s Meal/Baby at the Breakfast Table—1895—Figure 2.19) is staged, though not with actors: it stars Auguste Lumière and his wife as they feed their baby daughter in the garden of their home. There seems to be a “subplot” in which Mme. Lumière prepares tea, and this action may have been “scripted” to coincide with the less predictable activity of bébé’s lunch so that both would conclude at about the same time as the film ran out. At the end, however, bébé reaches out and offers her cookie to someone off-camera—no doubt an unscripted gesture. If Lumière had planned any coherent structure—namely, two activities coinciding with one another in duration—bébé’s action sabotages the plan, and the whole vignette probably seems to unfold more randomly than Lumière had intended.

In addition, although it oversimplifies things to say that the first audiences were so astonished by the novelty of a moving picture that mere moving scenery was enough to hold their attention, we know that more than one viewer of Repas de bébé remarked on the movement of the leaves in the background trees: apparently, audiences did in fact notice, and delight in, the kind of incidental details that the cinema proved capable of revealing.

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                   Démolition d’un mur

The First Trick Shot?: Démolition d’un mur
  Démolition d’un mur (Destruction of a Wall/The Falling Wall—early 1896—Figure 2.19), in which workers knock down a wall at the Lumière factory, is another straightforward actualité and was quite popular at commercial showings. In particular, the versatile cinématographe enabled projectionists to delight audiences by running the film forward and then in reverse, thus capping the demolition of the wall with its spontaneous reconstruction out of its own rubble. Does Démolition d’un mur thereby qualify as the first “trick shot”? Probably not: the “trick” doesn’t really occur within the shot itself, but rather because of a happy convergence between its subject matter and a playful strategy for exhibiting it.

See the moving picture


                      L’Arroseur arrosé

The Filmed Gag: L’Arroseur arrosé
  L’Arroseur arrosé (The Sprinkler Sprinkled/The Gardener/The Gardner and the Bad Boy/Teasing the Gardener—1895), in which a mischievous boy steps on a gardener’s hose and then releases it when the gardener looks to see what’s happened to the water flow, is among the most famous of all the Lumière subjects (Figure 2.19). It prefigures the so-called “bad boy” genre that soon became a comic staple in early films, but more importantly, it’s an early instance of the filmed “gag,” which owes much to the typical gag of the vaudeville or music-hall stage. For one thing, the stage gag was short, and so was the length of early comic films, which were usually timed to climax as the film ran out. L’Arroseur, however, differs in a significant way: even though the gag climaxes when the gardener spanks the bad boy, the gardener then goes back to his work as the boy runs off. Thus if this little film has a documentary flavor despite the fact that its action is clearly staged, it’s because it doesn’t contrive a precise match between the real time of the event and its duration on film.

Some of the theoretical ramifications that have been teased out of L’Arroseur arrosé are examined in Reading 2.1, “In Theory: The Question of the Mountebank behind the Camera.”

See the moving picture


                      Arrivée d’un train

                    en gare à La Ciotat

An Astonishing Record of Space and Movement: Arrivée d’un train en gare à La Ciotat
  Arrivée d’un train en gare à La Ciotat (The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotatca. 1895), which simply records the arrival of a train at a station, is also one of the most celebrated Lumière films (Figure 2.20). As passengers disembark from the train and head toward the camera, many of them pass quite close to it—apparently taking no notice of it. As in so many modern documentaries, viewers seem to get a completely uncontrived—that is, quite “naturalistic”—glimpse into the way that people just like themselves behave under a given set of perfectly ordinary circumstances.

Because it provides such a ready-made spectacle of an object in motion, the onrushing train was a favorite subject of almost every pioneer of the “actuality film.” Biograph’s Empire State Express (1896), which recorded a speeding train from a camera placed quite close to the tracks, was a big hit, as was Vitascope’s similar Black Diamond Express (also 1896—see Figure 2.1), which was screened with an accompanying phonograph recording of sound effects: “It seemed,” reported one newspaper, “as if the train were dashing down upon the audience, the rushing of steam, the ringing of bells, and the roar of the wheels making the scene a startlingly realistic one.”[31]

Louis Lumière, however, knew instinctively that the movement of inanimate things was always more astonishing when connected with images of moving people: while moving objects—whether blowing leaves or rushing trains—surpassed anything the theater could offer, moving people testified to the naturalism of cinematic images and their importance in recording human activity. Besides, “reproducing life” meant for Lumière taking moving pictures of people like those he knew: he chose the arrival of the train at La Ciotat because his mother and daughter were among the people on the platform.

Finally, Lumière also captures an unusually clear depth of field in Arrivée d’un train. In so doing, he emphasizes movement that originates at some distance from the camera and then progresses toward it: the film’s record of space and movement, in other words, is utterly unlike the kind of treatment that’s possible in the theater. Most important in this respect, of course, is the train itself, whose arrival—it’s said—caused many of the first naive moviegoers to gasp or shriek or even scurry to get out of harm’s way. Whether or not the story is true, the forward thrust of the train toward the audience’s point of view testifies to the power of the moving image to affect people—whether by frightening or merely surprising them—when the camera helps to manipulate the action that they’re watching.

Why are such anecdotes so compelling? For yet more theoretical ramifications, see Reading 2.2, “Jump Cut: Primitive Images and Bourgeois Mythologies.”

“The First Magnate and Major Prophet of Documentary Film”
  In retracing “The Course of Realism” in the cinema from the perspective of 1937, British documentarist and critic John Grierson went back to Louis Lumière:

When Lumière turned his first historic strip of film, he did so with the fine careless rapture which attends the amateur effort today. The new moving camera was still, for him, a camera and an instrument to focus on the life about him. He shot his own workmen filing out of the factory, and his first film was a “documentary.” He went on as naturally to shoot the Lumière family, child complete. The cinema, it seemed for a moment, was about to fulfill its natural destiny of discovering mankind. It had everything for the task. It could get about, it could view reality with a new intimacy; and what more natural than that the recording of the real world should become its principal inspiration? [32]

Similarly, in one of the most dependable histories of the nonfiction film, Erik Barnouw identifies the seed of the documentary in Lumière’s rejection of the theatrical and subsequent development of his own “style.” In Arrivée d’un train, for example,

as we see passengers leave the train, some pass close to the camera, seemingly unaware of it. The use of movement from a distance toward the viewer, and the surprising depth of field in the sequence, offered audiences an experience quite foreign to the theater and different from anything in [Edison’s] Black Maria performances.

While a few of these early films involved deliberate performances for the camera . . ., most were “actuality” items. . . . Louis Lumière rejected the theater as a model for motion pictures. He presented instead a panorama of French life that grows more fascinating as the years recede. [33]

Was Louis Lumière a “Primitive”?
  Barnouw calls Lumière the “first magnate and major prophet of documentary film.”[34] He does not, however, endorse the reasoning that Lumière actualités are prototypical documentary films because they are (in the words of one commentator) “naïve . . . representations of reality with no pretense of narrative.” Barnouw objects that such reasoning is fallacious because it relies on the “organically conceived history of the motion picture”—on the theory, that is, which likens historical development to that of a living organism. This theory, adds American scholar Marshall Deutelbaum, promotes the notion that Lumière’s one-shot actualités are “primitive” by assuming that “these unedited films must be naïve if the later use of editing demonstrates the transformation of film into an art form.”[35]

Barnouw grants that the popularity of the actuality film began to decline when its makers started to repeat its basic formulas. He acknowledges, too, that the makers of fiction films were meanwhile ushering in “a period of innovation. . . . It was in fiction, not documentary,” he admits, “that the art of editing was to evolve—and to change the whole nature of film communication.”[36] But Barnouw also rejects the idea of organic evolution in film style—the idea, in other words, that the tendencies of the fiction film are “sophisticated” because they somehow evolved out of the “naive” or “primitive” tendencies of the nonfiction film in the same way, say, that homo sapiens evolved from its hominid ancestors. Rather, he contends that the tendencies of the fiction film merely appeared later, insisting on a strictly chronological ordering of events and rejecting such value-loaded equations as “earlier” = “naïve” and “later” = “sophisticated.”

An “Expressive Use of Space”: Process, Order, and Organization
  In taking a closer look at the early Lumière actualités, Deutelbaum argues that “an ordering intelligence” gives meaning—or at least shape—to the best of them. He observes, for example, that Sortie d’usine consists of not one but two “processes”:

  1. The workers leaving the factory
  2. The opening and closing of the factory doors

“It is remarkable,” argues Deutelbaum,

that such a brief film should present a single event in its entirety (the workers leaving the factory) and locate this event within a framework (the movement of the doors) that signals the beginning and end of both the film and this action. While Sortie d’usine does not tell a story in the usual sense, its organization reflects an order and direction akin to the movement one associates with traditional plot structure.[37]


               Sortie d’usine: The Doors

In other words, says Deutelbaum, such films derive their structure from the “processes” they choose to show. The process in Sortie d’usine, for example, is that of workers leaving a factory. It’s shown in a single unedited shot, but it includes a framework of “related events”—the opening and closing of the factory doors—that provides both a starting point and an “inherent conclusion.” Appropriately, for instance, the film begins with the opening of the factory doors. It is, of course, a logical place to start, but by beginning with the opening doors, Lumière uses its first event to announce that the film is a carefully made composition, not merely something that happened to be recorded because someone had left a camera running outside the factory gate. “To suggest that the action depicted,” says Deutelbaum,

. . . is either naïve or an unmediated record of reality as it happened to occur before the camera ignores the conscious arrangement of the beginning and end of the action to coincide with the physical beginning and end points of the film and fails to recognize the expressive use of space to both clarify the action presented and to focus the viewer’s
attention. . . .

The Lumières Go Global


                Lumière Factory, Lyons, ca. 1890

Once Lumière films reached the United States (in June 1896), they were often billed as programs for “refined” audiences and “those who know something of the artistic side of photography.”[39] They played the same venues as music recitals and travel lectures and were aimed at cultured middle-class audiences. Although the distinctions were far from absolute, the Lumière programs, consisting of scenes from daily life and, later, views from foreign countries, were promoted as very different kinds of attractions from such American-produced staples as dancing girls, vaudeville acts, and prizefights.

The Technocratic Industrialists
  Ironically, the Lumières’ choice of subject matter may well have been dictated by marketing considerations. American historian Alan Williams points out that the Société Antoine Lumière et fils, though prosperous, was a family-owned business and did not have access to the kind of capital that was available to such American competitors as Edison and Biograph, who used debt or equity financing to underwrite their operations.[40] In the late 19th century, observes Williams, French banks resisted making loans for such marketing-related activities as research and development and promotion and charged high interest rates for the loans they did make. The Lumières, therefore, had to rely on revenue generated by the cinématographe itself, and to generate revenue, they had to create consumer demand for their product. They were thus forced to rely on what marketers call a “pull” strategy: they had to promote the cinématographe to the media that served their industry and to targeted audiences that could generate consumer interest (see Figure 2.21). This audience, Williams reminds us,

would scarcely have been impressed by Edison-style vaudeville turns. Lumière exhibitions consisted of images fit to make the apparatus suitable for contemplation by a bourgeois . . ., technically informed public. This public was presumed to be interested in the question of the “realism” of the images, though certainly not for the sake of the subjects represented but for the demonstration they afforded of “scientific” interest and technical virtuosity. In choosing to publicize their machine through channels already available to them as manufacturers of photographic products and as . . . “scientific” industrialists, the Lumières could have little choice, in retrospect, but so-called “documentary” images. But what was documented was the work of the apparatus itself. . . .[41]

The Lumières, then, were forced to rely on self-financing for both their domestic and foreign operations. They enjoyed greater control over their enterprise, but in those countries where local competition had already arisen (notably the United States and Great Britain), they were relatively slow in getting to market. The U.S. debut of the cinématographe was two months behind the vitascope premiere, and the first Lumière screening in England took place on the same day that R.W. Paul unveiled his own projector, the theatrograph (see Chapter 3.1).

Thus it’s perhaps doubly ironic that the Lumières’ New York premiere occurred not in a concert or lecture hall, but in Keith’s Union Square Theater, a vaudeville house. Although the Lumières themselves may not have been fully prepared to penetrate the American market, Benjamin F. Keith, head of the Keith-Albee circuit of vaudeville theaters, was eager to help them get a foothold, and he acquired the U.S. rights to the cinématographe from July through September 1896. Keith’s introduction of cinématograhe shows into major theaters in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston not only guaranteed distribution of the Lumière product in the United States, but severely limited the vaudeville circuit as a channel for the struggling vitascope. In a three-week period in the fall of 1896, for example, Keith’s Wonderland Theater in New Haven, Connecticut, attracted more than 120,000 people—nearly 6,000 per day—to see the cinématographe.


               Poster for Salon Lumière,

                Sydney, Australia, 1896

The International View of Things
  As Alan Williams has suggested, the attraction of the cinématographe show was in no small part “the apparatus itself,” and the Lumière strategy called for dispatching trained operators to countries around the world, each country being treated as a new market not simply for motion pictures but for the entire line of Lumière photographic products. Typically, operators introduced the cinématographe in small venues and moved up to larger halls with added screenings as the novelty caught on. Between March and July 1896, the cinématographe premiered in London, Madrid, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Malmö (Sweden), and Bombay; excursions throughout the rest of Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and Latin America soon followed. Because the cinématographe served as projector, camera, and printer, operators at each new site could not only screen films that they’d brought with them but could produce new footage featuring local subjects. Most material was also shipped back to France for redistribution, and as a result, by 1897, New York programs could feature subjects filmed in England, Italy, Germany, and Austria; 1898 programs also offered views from North Africa, Mexico, Japan, and Australia. In addition, wherever Lumière cameramen went, their mission was to use location shooting as advertising for subsequent screenings. Before long, exhibitions mixed exotic views with topical events and local activities. Spectators who had witnessed the filming of a subject in some public place could always hope to see themselves in an upcoming screening (see Figure 2.22).[42]

We should not underestimate the extent to which Louis Lumière’s sense of how to compose moving pictures established a model for his traveling cameramen. Reading 2.3, “In Theory: The Visual Intuition of Louis Lumière,” discusses the implications of Lumière’s approach to capturing images in moving pictures.

Lumière et Fils Repatriates
  In November 1896, the Lumière Agency opened in New York, with the Lumières taking control over the American distribution of their films and equipment from Keith-Albee. Unfortunately, the Agency’s efforts to exploit the U.S. market were less successful than those of the domestic vaudeville chain, and in America and elsewhere, aggressive competitors—such as Edison and Biograph in the United States, Paul and Acres in England, the Skladanowskys in Germany, Méliès, Pathé, and Gaumont in France—had already gained enough technological ground to establish their own operations. In fact, by mid-1897, the single-hole–sprocket format of the cinématographe itself (see Figure 2.23) was becoming outmoded, and in April 1897, the Lumières began liquidating both machines and stock in the U.S. and England. In the United States, pressure was also being applied by Edison (which threatened patent-infringement litigation) and Customs officials (whose interest was sparked by the Lumière policy of having operators declare their machines as personal rather than commercial property). In July, the director of the New York Lumière office was forced to sneak aboard a French steamer and return home. A variety of American exhibitors bought up Lumière’s U.S. holdings, and by the end of 1898, the company was no longer a force in the American moving-picture market.

For a discussion of Louis Lumière’s thoughts about the future of the medium that he helped to invent—or, more precisely, one latter-day filmmaker’s meditations on those thoughts—see Reading 2.4, “Jump Cut: ‘An Invention without a Future.’” For more on the life and subsequent activities of Louis Lumière, see Biographical Sketch 2.1: Louis Lumière.


actualité   Subject filmed and exhibited by the Lumières as a rendering of familiar people in commonplace settings

cinématographe   Lightweight combination camera/printer/projector invented and used for worldwide distribution and exhibition by Lumière et fils


[26] “Lumière, Louis,” in World Film Directors. Volume I. 1890-1945, ed. John Wakeman (New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 1987), p. 709.

[27] Quoted by Rosen, “Lumière,” p. 701. For brief overviews of the contributions of the Lumières, see Laurent Mannoni, The Great Art of Light and Shadow: Archaeology of the Cinema, trans. Richard Crangle (Exeter, UK: Univ. of Exeter Press, 2000). See also Rosen, “Lumière,” World Film Directors, pp. 700-10; Richard Abel, The Ciné Goes to Town: French Cinema 1896-1914, rev. ed. (Berkeley and Los Angeles: Univ. of California Press, 1994), pp. 10-11; David Thomson, A Biographical Dictionary of Film (New York: William Morrow and Co., 1976), pp. 340-41; Stephen Herbert, “Louis Jean Lumière,” Who’s Who of Victorian Cinema (British Film Institute, 2016), at (accessed June 1, 2016); “Pioneers of Early Cinema: Auguste Lumière (1862-1954), Louis Lumière (1864-1948),” National Media Museum (Bradford, UK), at (accessed June 1, 2016).

On the development and commercialization of the cinématographe, see Jim Whiting, Auguste & Louis Lumière and the Rise of Motion Pictures (Hockessin, Denmark: Mitchell Lane Publishers, 2005); and Walter Donohue, “Sibling Cinema: The Lumière Brothers and the Dawn of Film,” Focus Features (June 10, 2010), at (accessed June 1, 2016). On the financial aspects of the development and exploitation of the cinématographe, as well as its role in the competitive environment of the new industry, see Alan Williams, Republic of Images: A History of French Filmmaking (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1992), pp. 21-26; and David Puttnam, with Neil Watson, Movies and Money (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998), Chapter 1, at (accessed June 1, 2016).

For a brief summary of the technology of the cinématographe, see Leo Douglas Graham Enticknap, Moving Image Technology: From Zoetrope to Digital (New York: Wallflower Press, 2005), pp. 134-35, at (accessed June 1, 2016). For a discussion of the role played by the cinématographe in the development of photographic and cinematic imagery, see Tom Gunning, “New Thresholds of Vision: Instantaneous Photography and the Early Cinema of Lumière,” in Impossible Presence: Surface and Screen in the Photogenic Era, ed. Terry Smith (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2001), pp. 71-100, at (accessed June 1, 2016).

[28] Both quoted by Rosen, “Lumière,” p. 704. The classical—and outmoded—division of the cinema into prototypical “realist” tendencies (i.e., the cinema of Louis Lumière, which anchored itself in photography) and “formative” tendencies (i.e., the cinema of Georges Méliès, which “catered to demands left unsatisfied by Lumière’s photographic realism”—see Chapter 3) derives from the German-born American critic Siegfried Kracauer: see Kracauer, Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality (1960; rpt. London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1965), pp. 30-37; see also Roy Armes, Film and Reality: An Historical Survey (1974; rpt. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1975), Chapter 2. (The issue is discussed in Reading 3.5.)

[29] Quoted by Rosen, “Lumière,” pp. 702, 703. On Louis Lumière’s approach to “framing” his subjects as a narrative strategy, see André Gaudreault, “Film, Narrative, Narration: The Cinema of the Lumière Brothers,” in Early Cinema: Space, Frame, Narrative, ed. Thomas Elsaesser with Adam Barker (London: British Film Institute, 1990), pp. 68-76; on the implications of Lumière’s “framing” practices for the representation of space in his films, see Richard Decordova, “From Lumière to Pathé: The Break-Up of Perspectival Space,” in Early Cinema, ed. Elsaesser, pp. 76-84.

[30] See Marshall Deutelbaum, “Structural Patterning in the Lumière Films,” Wide Angle 3:1 (1979), pp. 29-30; Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, pp. 140-41. On Sortie d’usine, see also Decordova, “From Lumière to Pathé,” Early Cinema, ed. Elsaesser, pp. 76-78; and William D. Routt, “The Madness of Cinema and Thinking Images,” Postmodern Culture 8:2 (1998), at (accessed June 1, 2016). On Repas de bébé, see Vicky Lebeau, Childhood and Cinema (London: Reaktion Books, 2008), pp. 21-23, at (accessed June 1, 2016); and Liz Czach, “Acting and Performance in Home Movies and Amateur Film,” in Theorizing Acting, ed. Aaron Taylor (New York: Routledge, 2012), esp. pp. 163-64. Also consulted: James Walters, “Some Notes on the Evolution of Style,”, at (accessed May 12, 2006).

[31] See Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, pp. 150, 152-53, 178, 232. On Arrivée d’un train, see also Martin Loiperdinger and Bernd Elzer, “Lumière’s Arrival of the Train: Cinema’s Founding Myth,” The Moving Image 4:1 (2004), pp. 89-118; and Tom Gunning, “The Birth of Film Out of the Spirit of Modernity,” in Masterpieces of Modernist Cinema, ed. Ted Perry (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 2006), esp. pp. 19-23, at (accessed June 1, 2016).

[32] In Grierson on Documentary, ed. Forsyth Hardy (1966; rpt. New York: Praeger, 1971), p. 199.

[33] Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1974), pp. 8-9.

[34] Documentary, p. 6.

[35] See Deutelbaum, “Structural Patterning in the Lumière Films,” pp. 29-33.

[36] Documentary, pp. 21-22; Walters, “Some Notes on the Evolution of Style,”

[37] “Structural Patterning in the Lumière Films,” p. 30.

[38] “Structural Patterning in the Lumière Films,” p. 33.

[39] The Brooklyn Eagle, quoted by Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, p. 139. This section is based on Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, pp. 135-45, 176-77, and Rosen, “Lumière,” pp. 706-07.

[40] See “The Lumière Organization and ‘Documentary Realism,’” in Film before Griffith, ed. John Fell (Berkeley and Los Angeles: Univ. of California Press, 1983), pp. 153-61.

[41] “The Lumière Organization and ‘Documentary Realism,’” p. 158.

[42] The British Film Institute’s Who’s Who of Victorian Cinema website, which can be accessed at, contains brief biographies and descriptions of the activities of numerous Lumière operators, including André Carré; Marius, Pierre, and Lucie Chapuis; Francis Doublier; Eugène Dupont; Constant Girel; Félix Mesguich; Louis Minier; Alexander Promio; Marius Sestier; and Gabriel Veyre. For Figure 2.22: On Moscow, rue Tverskaïa, see Jonathan Auerbach, Body Shots: Early Cinema’s Incarnations (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 2007), pp. 50-51, at (accessed June 1, 2016). On Les Pyramides, see Michael Allan, “Deserted Histories: The Lumière Brothers, the Pyramids and Early Film Form,” Early Popular Visual Culture 6:2 (2008), pp. 159-70, at (accessed June 1, 2016).

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