The 1896 Melbourne Cup (1896)

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Marius Sestier was a representative for the Lumiere Film Company. While in Australia, he shot ten minutes of film at the Flemington racecourse, which are the first surviving film documents from that country. The ten scenes show the blustery pageant of a grand day out. We see the winning horse, the fans in the grandstands, the racecourse, and several set up shots of couples walking and talking. The style, of shooting and of subjects, is similar to other Lumiere shorts; quite different however are the stagey, planned sequences that show the upper class enjoying themselves socially. There's much pomp and circumstance, and these films serve as an invaluable record of it and a forgotten age.