Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This first volume of the Pioneers of the French Cinema collection inevitably begins with the 19th century efforts of August and Louis Lumiere. Included are the surviving entries of the first public motion-picture presentation of December 28, 1895, among them L'Arrive d'un Train en Gare de la Ciotat (the opening night audience recoiled in horror as a train seemingly barrelled towards them) and the comedy skit L'Arroseur Arrose, involving a gardener, two mischievous boys, and a balky water hose. The Lumieres abandoned film production in 1900, at which point the brilliant cinematic magician George Melies became France's leading filmmaker. This collection includes such Melies-directed, trick-filled fantasies as the deathless A Trip to the Moon (1902). Whenever possible, the producers of Pioneers of the French Cinema have utilized original, hand-tinted color prints of the Melies films.
High Historical Importance