Les Freres Lumière
October 6, 2009 5:14 PM   Subscribe

The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean, were among the earliest filmmakers. Their father, Claude-Antoine Lumière, ran a photographic firm and both brothers worked for him. It was not until their father retired in 1892 that the brothers began to create moving pictures. They patented a number of significant processes leading up to their film camera — most notably film perforations as a means of advancing the film through the camera and projector, and the cinématographe. Their first public screening of films at which admission was charged was held on December 28, 1895 in Paris. This history-making presentation featured ten short films, including their first film, Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory). Each film is 17 meters long, which, when hand cranked through a projector, runs approximately 50 seconds.

Lumière Brothers - The Little Girl And Her Cat
Lumière Brothers - The Serpentine Dance
Lumière Brothers - Indochina: Children Gathering Rice
Lumière Brothers - Whole Dam Family and the Dam Dog
Lumière Brothers - Sky Scrapers of New York City
first films video review
Lumière Brothers still photography - (previous MeFi post)
posted by netbros (11 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
It warms my heart to know that one of the first films in history involved someone stepping on a hose to prank someone else: l'arroseur arrosé.
posted by Paragon at 5:21 PM on October 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Mefi hasn't had a lumiere brothers post ever? Hmmm. In that case, good job!

There's a great documentary where modern filmmakers use the Lumiere's camera to make their own shorts. Some of them are great. It's called Lumière et compagnie

David lynch has a nice batshit one in it.

But Theo Angelopoulos' is my favorite of the bunch.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:26 PM on October 6, 2009

The Whole Dam Family and the Dam Dog is not a Lumière Brothers film. It was made by Edwin S. Porter for the Edison Motion Picture company in 1905.
posted by Dr. Wu at 6:10 PM on October 6, 2009

The note about inventing the system of using perforations in the film to advance it through the camera reminds me of one of my favorite Tonight Show moments where Johnny Carson was interviewing Mel Brooks:

Carson: What would you say is the hardest part of filmmaking?
Brooks: Cutting all those damn little holes in the celluloid.

posted by briank at 7:32 PM on October 6, 2009

In the Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon link, there's a man walking around, OUTSIDE!, APPARENTLY INTENTIONALLY!, NOT WEARING A HAT! (after the 5:00 mark) WTF! The nerve of this guy. Who does he think he is?!?!

This is a really good post. Thank you, netbros.
posted by squarehead at 7:43 PM on October 6, 2009

Second the recommendation for Lumiere and Compagnie...

My favorite was Claude Lelouch's contribution.
posted by Noon Under the Trees at 9:46 PM on October 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Just finished reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret to my kids--a wonderful fiction book about the very real Georges Jean Méliès . He was a magician who tried to buy a camera from the The Lumière brothers, but they wouldn't sell him one.

So he built his own, and ended up making hundreds of movies with lots of special effects, few of which survive today, including the first Science Fiction movie: A Trip to the Moon
posted by eye of newt at 10:51 PM on October 6, 2009

Ooh, ooh, I used to live a couple of minutes' walk from the Insitut Lumière!

If you go to Lyon and want to visit it, the nearest metro stop is, helpfully, Monplaisir Lumière (see map, PDF).
posted by MuffinMan at 12:54 AM on October 7, 2009

Fantastic post, netbros.
In the Sky Scrapers of New York City film, does anyone know what is the large round building that comes into view at about 2:34?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:14 AM on October 7, 2009

For the 1995 centenary of the first public screening, Anthology Film Archives showed hundreds of Lumière movies, and I went to as many as I could. They blew me away: I had no idea those "primitive" early movies could be so varied and sophisticated. Thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 6:35 AM on October 7, 2009

Thorzad- that would be Castle Clinton at Battery, no?
posted by IndigoJones at 7:12 AM on October 7, 2009

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