See the moving picture

See the moving picture

See the moving picture

See the moving picture

FIGURE 2.19

Early Actualités of Louis Lumière

Clockwise from top left: Sortie d’usine, L’Arroseur arrosé, Repas de bébé, Démolition d’un mur

These are all one-shot films, and all were recorded with a stationary camera. Perhaps an odd moment in L’Arroseur arrosé reflects the attitude of the maker of all four of these actualités. The boy runs away after playing his trick, exiting the frame to the left, and the gardener follows him, bringing him back into the frame for punishment. For a moment, therefore, the shot is almost emptied of its characters. The modern viewer would expect the director to pursue the action, perhaps by panning left. In Lumière’s handling of the scene, however, we see no such effort to use the camera to enhance the logic of cause and effect. Rather, the stationary camera merely confirms the integrity of the space originally selected by the camera.

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