La Voie Lumiere (1983)

Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - France  |  
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Both for film buffs and anyone interested in people and places between 1895 and the early 1900s, this compilation film is well-worth seeing. It includes 96 short clips from 3-5-second films, including 11 early films of people and animals in motion by Jules Etienne Marey, street scenes in 1895-96 by Georges Demeny, and crowds demonstrating support for Sacco and Vanzetti in 1927. Fifty-nine films of Auguste and Louis Lumière are shown as a representative sampling of their 2,000 original films (only a small percentage are extant). A 1903 fantasy film by Gaston Velle has a chef stuffing his assistant into a cooking pot, only to have a devil emerge a moment later. In a Lumière "exploitation" film, four women fight each other until a dog runs into the fray and breaks it up. Aside from the early silents, there are also examples of high-speed photography that captures fast-moving objects in slow motion, and time-lapse photography of flowers blossoming. There is no commentary to the parade of images on the screen, which are quite eloquent as they unfold in silence.