See the moving picture


The Self-Reflexive Spectacle

Uncle Josh at the Motion Picture Show

Edwin S. Porter, Edison Manufacturing Co., USA, 1902

Uncle Josh is first discovered in a position that underscores his separation from the other spectators who are watching the movie that hes watching: hes located in a box to the left of the screen, from which, upon glimpsing a Parisian dancer in the apparent vicinity, he hops onto the stage (left). The next shot, a train barreling toward the foreground of the picture, causes him to retreat in terror (second from left). In the final sequence, the spectacle of two lovers offends his sense of propriety (second from right), whereupon he tries to break them apart, only to pull down the screen and incur the wrath of the projectionist (right).

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