Magical History Tour - Colors, Sounds, Experiments and Other Players in Early Film
For a long time, colorful cityscapes and fairy-tale settings, noisy racetrack visitors and sophisticated animation were not among the typical characteristics associated with early films. Only the increased interest from archives and film historians for the early days of cinematography has advanced the general understanding of the great formal scope of the films, the willingness of the technicians, directors and actors to experiment and the complex tensions between the early cinema of arcades and sideshows and an increased narrative standardization. Particularly in the years following the first official film screenings in Paris and Berlin, film was seen, beyond its entertainment function, primarily as a technical innovation with uses for science and research, but also for the military. One of the numerous "pioneers" who saw the potential of film, with its technical innovations, as going beyond cinema, was Oskar Messter: he did early experiments with sound and color and developed, for instance, cameras for ballistics analysis and air reconnaissance, even before World War I. A few of his films, along with those of other inventors-cum-directors – such as Guido Seeber, E. S. Porter, Louis Lumière and Georges Méliès, we will show as supporting films. The main features for this month are from the 1910s and '20s and were made in Germany, America and France.