Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
This compilation film on the early history of cinema is one of several completed in 1983, and although it includes 24 early films in their entirety and a short 1958 survey of the first attempts at sound, the selected clips may not have been the best possible choices as far as entertainment is concerned. The most outstanding example among the 24 films is the 1925 short, The Eyes of the Dragon by Ladislas Starevitch, an enchanting animated story about a Chinese fantasy land, with captivating segments like dancing insects and miniature animals and objects. In the segment on sound, there are clips from films that came with synchronized sound cylinders used in each theater. Another effort at early sound was the music that accompanied a movie, and one long 18-minute film is used to illustrate this sound technique. Overall, this compilation work might have been more successful if better early examples of cinema had been chosen.