DEMOLITION D'UN MUR
aka. Demolition of a wall (Louis Lumière, 1896, France, 1m, BW)
Démolition d'un mur
Directed by Louis Lumière
Produced by Louis Lumière
Starring Auguste Lumière
Cinematography Louis Lumière
Release dates 1895
Démolition d'un mur (English: Demolition of a wall) is a 1895 French short black-and-white silent film directed and produced by Louis Lumière and starring his brother Auguste Lumière, along with two other men.
It was filmed by means of the Cinématographe, an all-in-one camera, which also serves as a film projector and developer. As with all early Lumière movies, this film was made in a 35 mm format with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.
Another single-shot Lumière Brothers film, this time showing the demolition of a wall in the grounds of the factory.
The dismemberment of motion by a process of repetition and infinite mechanical reproduction offered a meeting place for science and the ludic where cinema and painting could chiastically challenge and influence each other. Modernist art found its filmic form in the films of avant-garde filmmakers such as Fernand Leger’s famous film, Ballet Mecanique (1924), a farce indebted to the films of Charlie Chaplin. Ballet Mecanique explores the forward flow of linear time, its sense of smooth progression, by loop-printing a sequence of a grinning washerwoman climbing step stone steps.
Historically its provenance can be traced to the Lumière Brothers’ film Demolition d’un mur/Demolition of a wall (1896), which projectionists would play first forwards and then resurrect the wall by playing it backwards. Its legacy can be clearly seen in many of the films by experimental filmmakers including Paul Winkler’s, whose Long Shadows (1991) forever coalesces the past, present and future in his loop printing of 1920s tourists who walk up the Blue Mountains over, and over, again.
All this supports the idea, as Perry maintains, that just as cinema has clearly been influenced by painting, “it is inconceivable that artists weren’t influenced by cinema”. Notions of time and movement, as well as the role of the artist in an age of infinite reproduction, are endlessly explored in the work of artists (many of whom have made, and make, films just as Leger did) such as Andy Warhol, Eduardo Paolozzi, Yoko Ono, Gilbert & George, Cindy Sherman and Tracey Moffatt.
The Lumière brothers
The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas (October 19, 1862 – April 10, 1954) and Louis Jean (October 5, 1864 – June 6, 1948) were the first filmmakers in history. They patented the cinematograph, which in contrast to Edison's "peepshow" kinetoscope allowed simultaneous viewing by multiple parties. Their first film, Sortie de l'usine Lumière de Lyon, shot in 1894, is considered the first true motion picture.
The Lumière brothers were born in Besançon, France to Claude-Antoine Lumière and Jeanne Joséphine Costille Lumière. They moved to Lyon in 1870, where both attended La Martiniere, the largest technical school in Lyon. Their father, Claude-Antoine Lumière (1840–1911), ran a photographic firm where both brothers worked for him: Louis as a physicist and Auguste as a manager. Louis had made some improvements to the still-photograph process, the most notable being the dry-plate process, which was a major step towards moving images.
It was not until their father retired in 1892 that the brothers began to create moving pictures. They patented a number of significant processes leading up to their film camera, most notably film perforations (originally implemented by Emile Reynaud) as a means of advancing the film through the camera and projector. The original cinématographe had been patented by Léon Guillaume Bouly on 12 February 1892. The brothers patented their own version on 13 February 1895. The first footage ever to be recorded using it was recorded on March 19, 1895. This first film shows workers leaving the Lumière factory.
The Lumières held their first private screening of projected motion pictures in 1895.Their first public screening of films at which admission was charged was held on December 28, 1895, at Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris. This history-making presentation featured ten short films, including their first film, Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory). Each film is 17 meters long, which, when hand cranked through a projector, runs approximately 50 seconds. It is believed their first film was actually recorded that same year (1895) with Léon Bouly's cinématographe device, which was patented the previous year. The cinématographe — a three-in-one device that could record, develop, and project motion pictures — was further developed by the Lumières.
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