The Self-Reflexive Hybrid

The Story the Biograph Told

Wallace McCutcheon, American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., USA, 1903

Based on an extended vaudeville skit, Biograph’s version opens at an anonymous film-production company and unfolds in five shots. In the first shot (left), an office boy, having been taught to operate the camera, captures the boss and his secretary in mid-dalliance. Shots 2 and 3 take us to a theater, where the boss and his wife are in attendance when the “bad boy’s” little film is shown. The fourth shot (right) is the story that the biograph tells on the screen. In Shot 5, the wife replaces the boss’ secretary with a young man.

Back to CHAPTER 7/Part 1