Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Colección Sagarmínaga Prog. 1

LUTTES EXTRAVAGANTES (FR 1899). Photo: Filmoteca Española. Click to enlarge the images.
FÊTES DE COURONNEMENT DE S.M. ALPHONSE XIII. COURSE ROYALE DE TAUREAUX (FR [ES] 1902). Photo: Filmoteca Española.
GROSSE TÊTE DE PIERROT (FR c. 1900). Photo: Filmoteca Española.
ARRIVÉE D'UN TRAIN À WAGONS À ÉTAGES (FR 1897-1901). Photo: Filmoteca Española.
Le Giornate del Cinema Muto (GCM), Pordenone.
Viewed at Teatro Verdi, grand piano: Antonio Coppola, 6 Oct 2015

Camille Blot-Wellens (GCM catalog and website):

Colección Sagarmínaga - 2

A Hundred Films from the First Decade of Cinema

"Two years ago, the Giornate dedicated a session to films made with the Joly-Normandin system. Part of the films screened then belonged to a collection known as the “Sagarmínaga Collection”, named after the Spanish exhibitor Antonino Sagarmínaga (for details, see the notes for the Joly-Normandin presentation at Pordenone in 2013). This year we are happy to present the second part of this collection."

"In fact, after acquiring a Joly-Normandin projector in 1897, Sagarmínaga acquired another projector, around 1899, for which he collected more than a hundred prints until 1907, when the system of the rental of prints was established."

"The Sagarmínaga Collection opens a window on the early years of cinema in Spain (specifically, in Bilbao), and not only allows us to discover films that have long been regarded as missing (of which several prints are unique), but also, through programmes composed by the exhibitor, to discover how these film were presented at the time."

"The prints were spliced together in reels of approximately 200 metres, in a total of 19 reels (and two separate films); each reel constituted a programme. Some reels have a clear theme. The first ones (A, “B”, C) are dedicated to King Alfonso XIII or current Spanish events. Other reels gather rural scenes (N), sea scenes (“E”), sports (F), comedies (I) or magicians and transformation scenes (“G”), while some programmes have also surprised us by the variety of genres (L or R)... Unfortunately, it seems that some films were lost, and one reel was impossible to save as it was already decomposed when it arrived at the Filmoteca Española."

"The main portion of the reels was accompanied by handwritten notes, probably made by Sagarmínaga himself, which were classified by letter (from A to V) and included given titles, the lengths of the films, and comments on the quality of the programmes... These notes have provided crucial information on the evolution of the programmes or the changes made by Sagarmínaga, and have made possible the reconstruction of the original order of the programmes, which had been modified before they arrived at the Filmoteca Española."

"The films’ given titles have been considered as release or presentation titles, and are therefore indicated in the new prints; sometimes these are the only titles we have for otherwise unidentified films, since at the time the practice of inserting titles in prints was optional."

"In order to identify the films, it was indispensable to identify the production companies, which required examining all kinds of data: manufacturers’ names on the edges of the print or etched on the film base (when they were present), items from the settings, or actors... But most part of the data were provided by the physical characteristics of the prints themselves: the gates of the cameras, the position of the frames, the singular shapes of the perforations (in the prints or photographed from the negatives), which at this time varied from one producer to another, as there were as yet no set industry standards. Original catalogues and publications of the period were also crucial in the process of identification."

"In the end, it was possible to determine that most films in the collection were produced in France; some were produced in England, and a few were made in Spain for foreign companies. According to the contemporary catalogues, the Sagarmínaga Collection seems to be a fair representation of what was on offer at the time. It also gives us a new idea of the possible importance of some production companies that have since been largely forgotten, such as Parnaland in France or Escobar in Spain."

"In 2001, the Filmoteca Española asked me and Encarni Rus to conduct the historical investigation and identification of the Sagarmínaga Collection. The physical repair and preparation of the elements were done by Beatriz Cervantes at the Filmoteca, where some of the prints were duplicated by Cecilio Vega. The laboratory Iskra (Juan José Mendy, Milagros Arriba Alonso, and Manuel Santana) was responsible for the duplication of the main portion of the collection. The Association des frères Lumière allowed the Filmoteca Española to make prints of the Lumière films from duplication elements obtained by the Archives françaises du Film du CNC from the original camera negatives. "

"The final printing of all the films and the reintroduction of the tints (using the Desmet color process) were conducted by the laboratory Fotofilm-Deluxe (Antonio Álvarez). The whole project took more than five years to complete.
" – Camille Blot-Wellens

Colección Sagarmínaga – Filmoteca Española

"The films in the Sagarmínaga Collection will be screened in two programs, respecting the structure of the programs composed by the original exhibitor. For the reels indicated by letters within quotation marks (e.g., Rl. “B”), the screening order has had to be guessed, since the original notes are lost. The film titles listed within parentheses were assigned by Sagarmínaga himself (these are taken from his original handwritten notes, or from a list made from these documents before the films were acquired by the Filmoteca Española). These are in all capital letters when used as the main entry; otherwise they follow the original title and are in upper- and lower-case. The running times are based on projection at 18 fps."

Prog. 1 (Rl. A – Rl. J)

Rl. A

S. M. ALPHONSE XIII EN FRANCE. ARRIVÉE EN FRANCE (Alfonso XIII en París) (Warwick Continental Trading Co. / Raleigh & Robert – GB/FR, 1905) D: Félix Mesguich; 35 mm, 58.9 m, 2'50", col. (tinted); main title in French.
    AA: Non-fiction. Official footage, many shots. The speed is too slow.

S. M. ALPHONSE XIII EN FRANCE. ARRIVÉE À VINCENNES (Alfonso XIII en París. En Vincennes) (Warwick Continental Trading Co. / Raleigh & Robert – GB/FR, 1905) D: Félix Mesguich; 35 mm, 42.3 m, 2'30", col. (tinted); main title in French.
    AA: Non-fiction. A parade on a lawn, good visual quality, colour, some blemishes.

S. M. ALPHONSE XIII EN FRANCE. VISITE À ST. CYR (Alfonso XIII en París. En St. Cyr [carrusel]) (Warwick Continental Trading Co. / Raleigh & Robert – GB/FR, 1905) D: Félix Mesguich; 35 mm, 97.1 m, 4'45", col. (tinted); main title in French.
    AA: Non-fiction. A distant view of a military parade, dexterity in horsemanship, a show attack, the air is full with dust.

Rl. “B”

FÊTES DE COURONNEMENT DE S.M. ALPHONSE XIII. COURSE ROYALE DE TAUREAUX (Corrida regia) (Escobar / Gaumont – FR (ES), 1902) D: Antonio Escobar?; 35 mm, 58.6 m, 2'50", col. (tinted).
    AA: Non-fiction. The official footage continues. Tinted sepia.

(BODAS REALES) (Warwick Continental Trading Co. – GB 1906) D: ?; 35 mm, 123.6 m, 6'10”. Original film title unknown. Images of the royal wedding of King Alfonso XIII with Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg.
    AA: Non-fiction. Yet another official parade with a festival carriage. A long take, distant view, high contrast.

Rl. C

RÉCEPTION DE SA MAJESTÉ ALPHONSE XIII À BARCELONE (Alfonso XIII en Barcelona) (Pathé – FR 1904) D: Segundo de Chomón; 35 mm, 41.6 m, 2'01”.
    AA: Non-fiction. Even Segundo de Chomón manages a boring official film. Slightly soft or low contrast.

HALLEBARDIERS DE LA REINE (Alabarderos de la Reina) (Lumière – FR 1896) D: Alexandre Promio; 35 mm, 16.9 m, 50", col. (tinted).
    AA: Non-fiction. More parades, tinted yellow.

(JURA DE BANDERA [MADRID]) (?, GB?, 1902-1906) D: ?; 35 mm, 18.7 m, 55", col. (tinted). Images of a pledge of allegiance to the flag in Madrid.
    AA: Non-fiction. This time the parade takes place in Madrid.

(CARNAVAL EN LA CASTELLANA) (?, GB?, 1902-1906) D: ?; 35 mm, 34.5 m, 1'42", col. (tinted). Images of a Carnival on the Castellana (avenue) in Madrid. Possibly filmed in 1903.
    AA: Non-fiction. Yawn, another parade. Tinted sepia, soft or low contrast.

MONTAGNES RUSSES NAUTIQUES (Montañas rusas en el agua) (Pathé – FR 1902) D: ?; 35 mm, 41.6 m, 2'01”.
    AA: Non-fiction. A water slide for amusement.

Rl. “D” – “Paseo por el mar” (title per handwritten notes with original reel)

BAIGNEURS EN SEINE À PARIS (Pathé – FR 1896) D: ?; 35 mm, 15.1 m, 44”.
    AA: Non-fiction. Swimmers with boats on the shore. A water rescue rehearsal?

BARQUE SORTANT DU PORT (Lumière – FR 1897) D: Louis Lumière?; 35 mm, 16.6 m, 48", col. (tinted). This is the second version, filmed in La Ciotat during the summer of 1897.
    AA: Non-fiction. The classic Lumière view tinted orange.

MÂT DE BEAUPRÉ (Parnaland – FR, 1899-1900) D: ?; 35 mm, 26.6 m, 1'18”.
    AA: Non-fiction. Boats on the other side, the water teeming with swimmers.

LE BATEAU INSUBMERSIBLE (Parnaland – FR 1900) D: ?; 35 mm, 21.7 m, 1'03”.
    AA: The Non-fiction. unsinkable boat demonstrated.

[REGATAS EN BILBAO] (?, GB?, 1902-1906) D: ?; 35 mm, 38 m, 1'51", col. (tinted). Title assigned by the archive. Images of a regatta organized in the harbour of Bilbao, possibly by the Real Club Marítimo del Abra.
    AA: Non-fiction. Sailboats. Tinted sepia. Low contrast or soft.

MER (Parnaland – FR 1902) D: ?; 35 mm, 15.8 m, 46", col. (tinted).
    AA: Non-fiction. Whitecaps hitting the rock on the coast. *

Rl. F

RALLY PAPER (Rally Paper [Cros country]) (Lumière – FR 1903-1905) D: ?; 35 mm, 46 m, 2'14", col. (tinted).“Rally Paper (Cros country)” was the title given to this film by Sagaraminaga; “Cros” instead of “Cross” is the exact spelling in the Spanish title.
   AA: Comedy. A farcical hurdle running contest. "A woman" and a dog are the winners.

LES RÉGATES DE JUILLET 1899 SUR LA MARNE (Regatas en el Sena) (Pathé – FR 1899)
D: ?; 35 mm, 20.1 m, 58”.
    AA: Non-fiction. Long boats.

SAUT DU MUR (Asalto al muro) (Parnaland – FR, c.1900) D: ?; 35 mm, 20 m, 58”.
    AA: Non-fiction. A military exercise: soldiers climbing over a high wall.

LES LEVANNI (BARRISTES COMIQUES) (Los barristas) (Pathé – FR 1903) D: ?; 35 mm, 61.5 m, 3'19", col. (tinted); main title in French.
    AA: Non-fiction: acrobatic clowns. Amazing somersaults. *

CORSO CYCLISTE (Certamen ciclista) (Pathé – FR 1898) D: ?; 35 mm, 19.8 m, 58”.
    AA: Non-fiction. Flower-decorated bicycles.

AUTOMOBILES FLEURIES (Carrera de autos) (Pathé – FR 1898) D: ?; 35 mm, 20.6 m, 1'10”.
    AA: Non-fiction. Continued from the previous film: flower-decorated cars.

Rl. “G”

GROSSE TÊTE DE PIERROT (Cabeza de Pierrot) (Parnaland – FR, c.1900) D: ?; 35 mm, 18.1 m, 52", col. (tinted).
    AA: A close-up of Pierrot tinted yellow. See image above.

UN HOMME DE TÊTES (Las tres cabezas) (Star-Film – FR 1898) D: Georges Méliès; 35 mm, 19 m, 55”.
    AA: Fiction: a trick film. The famous Méliès film of the multiple heads in a fair black and white print.

GRAND BALLET (Cuerpo de baile) (Pathé – FR 1904) D: ?; 35 mm, 20.4 m, 60”. The main dancer is Miss Consoli, together with other dancers from the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
    AA: Non-fiction: a ballet record. The prima ballerina surrounded by seven other dancers. A fair print.

MÉTAMORPHOSES D’UN MAGICIEN (Mago-Ilusionista) (Pathé – FR, 1896-1899) D: ?; 35 mm, 15.7 m, 46”.
    AA: Fiction: féerie. The magician's gear changes. He conjures the woman out of her clothes and back on.

ILLUSIONS FANTASMAGORIQUES (Ilusionista y niños) (Star-Film – FR 1898) D: Georges Méliès; 35 mm, 23.2 m, 1'08", col. (tinted).
    AA: Fiction: féerie. A boy out of a box, split with an axe, appearing and disappearing. Tinted orange.

L’ILLUSIONNISTE (Diablo ilusionista) (Pathé – FR, 1896-1899) D: ?; 35 mm, 16.9 m, 49”.
    AA: Fiction: féerie. Sorcery. From a decomposing source.

IMPRESSIONNISTE FIN-DE-SIÈCLE (Muñeca transformista) (Star-Film – FR 1899) D: Georges Méliès; 35 mm, 19.4 m, 57", col. (tinted). According to Jacques Malthête, this is a second version of this title, also known as Illusionniste fin-de-siècle.
    AA: Fiction: féerie. The sorcerer covers a woman and makes her disappear. He discovers her in his magician's hat. Disappearing into dust.

LE REPAS INFERNAL (Comida infernal) (Pathé – FR, 1900-1901) D: ?; 35 mm, 7.8 m, 23”.
    AA: Fiction: féerie. Appearance and disappearance during the infernal dinner.

Rl. H

CANARDS (Patos parisienses) (Parnaland – FR, 1902-1903) D: ?; 35 mm, 30.9 m, 1'30", col. (tinted).
    AA: Fiction: trick film. A boy turns into an egg-laying duck. From the egg emerges a boy.

LUTTES EXTRAVAGANTES (Lucha de atletas) (Star-Film – FR 1899) D: Georges Méliès; 35 mm, 21.4 m, 1'02", col. (tinted).  First version, before 50 metres were added for Nouvelles luttes extravagantes (1900).
    AA: Fiction: trick film. Gorgeous Mélièsian full-figured woman wrestlers tear each other to pieces.

CHIEN JOUANT À LA BALLE (Perro pelotari) (Gaumont – FR 1905) D: Alice Guy?; 35 mm, 25.9 m, 1'15”.
    AA: Non-fiction. A dog playing with a light ball on a painted yard.

FANTAISIE CYCLISTE (Clowns ciclistas) (Pathé – FR, c.1899) D: ?; 35 mm, 19.6 m, 57”.
    AA: A record of a clown act. The clowns at a penny-farthing (a high-wheeler) ostensibly learning to ride the bicycle. A lot of tumbling down.

LE SINGE VOLTIGEUR (El mono en el circo) (Pathé – FR, 1898-1899) D: ?; 35 mm, 14.9 m, 43”.
The animal trainer is Wiener Furgarthen.
    AA: A record of a monkey training act. An extremely dexterous monkey.

LES SIX SOEURS DAINEFF (Las hermanas Daineff) (Pathé – FR 1902) D: ?; 35 mm, 59.3 m, 2'53"; main title in French, English, and German. This is the short version. There is another version of 200 metres.
    AA: A record of an acrobatic act. The six Daineff sisters are fantastic acrobats and ultra strong Amazon athletes. One is supporting all the others. There is a chain somersault. The lighting fast somersaults are astounding. *

Rl. I

LE CHANTEUR DES COURS (El músico galante) (Parnaland – FR, c.1900) D: ?; 35 mm, 21.2 m, 1'02", col. (tinted). According to the original catalogue, another version may have been produced (one is listed with a different description).
    AA: Fiction: comedy. The courtyard singer is rewarded with a trick of water in his horn.

LE MARCHAND DE NOUGAT ET DE COCO (Café y pasteles) (Parnaland – FR 1902) D:
 ?; 35 mm, 16.2 m, 47"; main title in French.
    AA: Fiction: slapstick comedy. Shot in a studio with a park set. Also here the protagonist (a merchant of sweets) gets water in his neck.

DÉFENSE D’AFFICHER (El anunciador) (Pathé – FR 1903) D: ?; 35 mm, 18.9 m, 55", col. (tinted); main title in French.
    AA: Fiction: comedy. Posters are banned.

MOUSTIQUE RÉCALCITRANT (La mariposa importuna) (Lumière – FR, 1903-1905) D:
 ?; 35 mm, 17.2 m, 50", col. (tinted).
    AA: Fiction: comedy: At the bar the old-timer confronts a relentless butterfly.

LA SIESTE INTERROMPUE (La siesta del portero) (Parnaland – FR, 1900-1901) D:
 ?; 35 mm, 17.5 m, 51", col. (tinted).
    AA: Fiction: comedy. The rascals play a prank with the father who wants to enjoy his siesta.

LE CHIEN ET L’ARROSEUR (La ducha al...) (Parnaland – FR, 1897-1899) D: ?; 35 mm, 12.4 m, 32", col. (tinted). The entire Spanish title was illegible in Sargarmínaga’s original notes.
    AA: Fiction: comedy. An arroseur variation with a dog which enjoys the water.

LA PÊCHE MIRACULEUSE (Los pescadores) (Pathé – FR 1902) D: ?; 35 mm, 24.3 m, 1'11" , col. (tinted); main title in French. According to stills held at the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, it seems that several versions of a film with this title were
produced.
    AA: Fiction: comedy. They catch a big fish, fight over it, and splash into the water.

LE LAVEUR DE DEVANTURES (Accidente...) (Pathé – FR 1902) D: ?; 35 mm, 14.4 m, 42", col. (tinted); main title in French. The entire Spanish title was illegible in Sargarmínaga’s original notes.
    AA: Fiction: comedy. Tit for tat structure in a comedy about a washer of storefronts.

Rl. J

FOX HUNTING (Caza del zorro) (Warwick Trading Co – GB 1906) D: Will Barker; 35 mm, 191 m, 9'20", col. (tinted); main title and intertitles in Spanish. Filmed on 8 December 1906, with Fitzwilliam’s pack of hounds.
    AA: Non-fiction. A straight record starting from a big dog kennel. Fox hunting on horseback.

AA: We are celebrating the 120th anniversary of the cinema, and screening the invaluable Colección Sagarmínaga is the perfect way to do it, not forgetting samples of Lumière and Méliès included in the package. Unfortunately this collection starts with its ten most boring films, official parades no doubt essential and most valuable for our Spanish friends. A wonderful work of restoration and reconstruction from rare and difficult formats.

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