Lumière! The Adventure Of Cinema Begins / Lumière! L'aventure Commence

By Thierry Frémaux

France | In French with English subtitles | 2015 | 89 min 35 sec | PG13 (Some Drug References)

 

In 1895, brothers Auguste Lumière (1862–1954) and Louis Lumière (1864–1948) invented the Cinématographe, an apparatus that could function as a camera, film printer and projector. They used it to make some of the earliest films in cinema history, now considered classics. Lumière! The Adventure of Cinema Begins weaves together 108 of their 1422 films, which have been beautifully restored to their original format. The documentary, coupled with director Thierry Frémaux’s witty commentary, presents a delightful picture of everyday life at the turn of the 20th century and the earliest expressions of film.

The documentary draws the viewer into engaging discussions on the Lumière brothers’ key films, from the discovery of earlier iterations of their first title Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory, to a dissection of the composition of Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, or an analysis of the portrayal of colonialism in Annamite Children Gathering Coins at the Women’s Pagoda. Each single-take, 50-second actualité shows constant experimentation as the Lumières’ and their operators went on location to shoot across Europe, the Americas, Middle East and Asia. In doing so, they shaped the rudiments of film language—mise-en-scène, depth of field, tracking camera, special effects—that would lead to the conception of cinema as art.

Lumière! The Adventure of Cinema Begins premiered at the Cannes Film Festival (2015), and has been part of the official selection in many international film festivals including Toronto International Film Festival (2016).

Thierry Frémaux (b. 1960, France) has been Artistic Director of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival since 2004, and its General Delegate since 2007. He is also the Managing Director of the Institut Lumière in Lyon, and has for many years been deeply involved in the preservation of the Lumière collection and the restoration of the first Cinématographe films. In 2008, he received the Legion of Honour from the French Minister of Culture, Christine Albanel.

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