Saturday, June 25, 2011

Alice Guy: Programme 1: The Sieurin French Collection of Early Gaumont Films 1899-1900 / Child Heroes and Heroines

Alice Guy: Programma 1: La Sieurin French Collection dei primi film Gaumont 1899-1900 / Eroi ed eroine infantili. Saturday, 25 June 2011 at 16.15 Cinema Lumière - Sala Officinema / Mastroianni, Bologna, Il Cinema Ritrovato. Grand piano: Maud Nelissen. Presentano Kim Tomadjoglou, Bryony Dixon e Monica Dall'Asta.

Catalogue: "Emil Sieurin (1877-1962), a pioneering figure in Swedish cinema, shot some of the earliest Swedish films in 1901. He was also an engineer, working at the company Höganäsbolaget in the south of Sweden at the turn of last century. Sieurin’s films document the work at the factory where he was employed (where they manufactured ceramics), and other local attractions such as playgrounds, music events, etc. The Sieurin French reel of 19 short Gaumont films was a reel of films that he acquired while travelling to France; the reel was subsequently screened in Sweden and known under the title Sieurins franska bilder, which literally means “Sieurin’s French pictures”.""

"In 1985, Archival Film Collections of the Svenska Filminstitutet - Filmarkivet duplicated the original nitrate positive reel (which no longer survives) and a colour inter-negative was made. In 2008, a new print was made from this preservation negative, and new black and white titles (the original nitrate lacked titles) were inserted for each separate film.""

"The films have been identified in collaboration with the Gaumont Pathé Archives (Paris), though the Danse serpentine film could not be exactly identified." Jon Wengström, Curator of Archival Film Collections, The Svenska Filminstitutet - Filmarkivet

"The “Sieurin French pictures” reel consists of a wide range of genres representative of the early Gaumont production and includes works previously attributed to Guy. The single shot La Fée aux choux [The Cabbage Fairy] (1900) which features Guy’s secretary and friend, Yvonne Mugnier-Serand, as a fairy pulling babies from a cabbage patch was previously considered Guy’s first film. Recent research by Maurice Gianati has revealed she directed her first film in 1902 (the two-shot Sage-femme de première classe) and before that possibly provided scenarios.""


ENTRÉE ET SORTIE DE LA MINE. FR 1899. P: Gaumont. - AA: Non-fiction. A print with beautiful toning effects.

PARIS: EXPOSITION UNIVERSELLE – PANORAMA DE LA SEINE. FR 1900. P: Gaumont. - AA: non-fiction. A panorama from a moving vessel. Print with sepia toning.

DANSE DES SAISONS: L’HIVER, DANSE DE LA NEIGE. FR 1900. T. alt.: Dance of the Seasons: Winter, Snow Dance; P: Gaumont. - AA: Non-fiction. A record of a dance performance. Print with sepia toning.

AU CABARET. FR 1899. T. alt.: At the Club; P: Gaumont. - AA: Fictional scene. Starts like the Lumière card-playing scenes, the three men drink and start a fight.

PARIS: EXPOSITION UNIVERSELLE. FR 1900. P: Gaumont. - AA: Non-fiction. A 360 degree pan.

CHEZ LE MARÉCHAL-FERRANT. FR 1899. T. alt.: At the Blacksmith’s; P: Gaumont. - AA: Non-fiction. Comparable to the blacksmithing scenes of Edison and Lumière.

AVENUE DE L’OPÉRA. FR 1900. P: Gaumont. - AA: Non-fiction, trick film. Reverse motion in front of the Place de l'Opéra.

LA BONNE ABSINTHE. FR 1899. T. alt.: The Good Absinthe; P: Gaumont. - AA: Fiction. Drinking undiluted absinth.

L’AVEUGLE FIN DE SIÈCLE. FR 1898. D: G. Breteau. T. alt.: The Turn-of-the-century Blind Man; P: Gaumont. - AA: Comedy. A trick to the fake blind man.

PANORAMA CIRCULAIRE SUR LE PONT D’IÉNA. FR 1900. P: Gaumont. - AA: Non-fiction. A 360 degree pan.

CHAPELLERIE ET CHARCUTERIE MÉCANIQUES. FR 1900. T. alt.: Mechanical Hat-and-Sausage-maker; P: Gaumont. - AA: A trick film. In the spirit of Méliès, a film about a miraculous machine.

LA FÉE AUX CHOUX. FR 1900. T. alt.: The Cabbage Fairy; P: Gaumont. - AA: Une féerie. A magical film in the spirit of Méliès, babies born out of cabbages.

PÉDILUVE. FR 1899. P: Gaumont. - AA: Non-fiction. Horses are washed in the water.

LA CONCIERGE. FR 1900. T. alt.: The Concierge; P: Gaumont. - AA: Fiction. Rascals tease the concierge. The concierge avenges, but an innocent gets to suffer.

CHEZ LE PHOTOGRAPHE. FR 1900. D: Henri Vallouy (?). T. alt.: At the Photographer’s; P: Gaumont. - AA: Fiction. A restless photographer's model.

EXPO 1900: LE VIEUX PARIS. FR 1900. P: Gaumont. - AA: Non-fiction. Another view from the Seine, historical facades along the river.

CHARGE À LA BAÏONETTE D’UN RÉGIMENT DE LIGNE. FR 1899. P: Gaumont. - AA: Non-fiction. Military exercises. Attacks towards the camera.

DANS LES MINES: ENTRÉE DES BENNES DANS LA MINE. FR 1899. P: Gaumont. - AA: Non-fiction. Belongs together with the first view of this compilation.

DANSE SERPENTINE. FR 1900. P: Gaumont. - AA: Non-fiction. A beautiful toning and multi-colour effects in the print.

Catalogue: "Young children were featured in Guy's early short productions for Gaumont and years later they reappeared as principal protagonists in Solax single-reel and feature films. As key intermediaries between and amongst their adult counterparts, children played a distinctive role in resolving narrative tension and conflict. Child heroes and heroines were active and empowered agents, often functioning to negotiate the balance of power posed by binary options, such as the themes of life/death, crime/law, and good/evil at the heart of Guy’s dramatic stories.""

LA MARÂTRE. FR 1906. D: Alice Guy. T. alt.: The Stepmother. [PC: Gaumont, 1547]. 35 mm. 8’ at 16 fps. B&w. From: [Toulouse] / CNC Archives Françaises du Film. - AA: Fiction. The stepchild is mistreated. Simplified, exaggerated narration. Print from a worn source.

DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT. US 1913. D+SC: Alice Guy Blaché. Cast: Vinnie Burns, Darwin Karr, Mrs. Hurley; Co.: Alice Guy Blaché. P: Solax. 35 mm. 37’ a 20 fps. B&w. English intertitles. From: BFI - National Archive. - AA: Fiction. A sailor story with a treasure. The big and the small. Beautiful composition in the cinematography. The print has a soft, duped quality.

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