Monday, September 12, 2016

FILMBAY 2000 Greatest Films of All-Time (1888-2014) by Year # 0008 - REPAS DE BÉBÉ (Louis Lumière, 1895, France, 1m, BW)

REPAS DE BÉBÉ, aka. Baby's Dinner, 

aka. Feeding the Baby

(Louis Lumière, 1895, France, 1m, BW)

Feeding the Baby aka. Baby's Dinner / REPAS DE BÉBÉ (Louis Lumière, 1895, France, 1m, BW)

Directed by     Louis Lumière
Produced by     Louis Lumière
Starring     Andrée Lumière
Cinematography     Louis Lumière
Release dates February 20, 1896 (UK)
Country     France
Language     Silent
Duration 1m

Le Repas de Bébé (also known as Baby's Dinner and Feeding the Baby) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière and starring Andrée Lumière. The film formed part of the first commercial presentation of the Lumière Cinématographe on December 28, 1895 at the Salon Indien, Grand Café, 14 Boulevard des Capucines, Paris.

Feeding the Baby is one of the films that mark the official birth of cinema as a theater-going experience, on December 28, 1895. On that date, Lumière and his brother Auguste projected a program of short films to a paying audience at the Grand Café on the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris. Filmed by Louis and less than a minute long, it shows Auguste and his wife having a meal with their child. While this is presented as a documentary, the film shows a domestic scene arranged for the camera; as such, it falls somewhere between the Lumières' usual strict recordings of actual events and their staged comedies.

The Lumière brothers were already well-established photographers and manufacturers of photographic equipment when, in 1894, they witnessed a demonstration of Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope in Paris. The American invention was a peepshow device, accommodating only one viewer at a time. The Lumières quickly set out to create a combination camera and projector. Their new, simplified, and portable apparatus, which they called the Cinématographe, was the leap of technical imagination needed for a cinematic culture to emerge from Edison's novelty.


As with all early Lumière movies, this film was made in a 35 mm format with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It was filmed by means of the Cinématographe, an all-in-one camera, which also serves as a film projector and developer. The baby featured, Andrée Lumière, died in Lyon aged 24, as a result of the 1918 flu pandemic.


The film consists of one shot of Auguste Lumière, his wife and baby daughter having breakfast in the countryside.

Andrée Lumière as Herself, 'Bébé'
Auguste Lumière as Himself, Auguste Lumière
Mrs. Auguste Lumière as Herself, Marguerite Lumière

About Lumière Brothers

French inventors and pioneer manufacturers of photographic equipment who devised an early motion-picture camera and projector called the Cinématographe (“cinema” is derived from this name). Auguste Lumière (b. Oct. 19, 1862, Besançon, France—d. April 10, 1954, Lyon) and his brother Louis Lumière (b. Oct. 5, 1864, Besançon, France—d. June 6, 1948, Bandol) created the film La Sortie des ouvriers de l'usine Lumière (1895; “Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory”), which is considered the first motion picture.

Sons of a painter turned photographer, the two boys displayed brilliance in science at school in Lyon, where their father had settled. Louis worked on the problem of commercially satisfactory development of film; at 18 he had succeeded so well that with his father's financial aid he opened a factory for producing photographic plates, which gained immediate success. By 1894 the Lumières were producing some 15,000,000 plates a year. That year the father, Antoine, was invited to a showing of Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope in Paris; his description of the peephole machine on his return to Lyon set Louis and Auguste to work on the problem of combining animation with projection. Louis found the solution, which was patented in 1895. At that time they attached less importance to this invention than to improvements they had made simultaneously in colour photography. But on Dec. 28, 1895, a showing at the Grand Café on the boulevard des Capucines in Paris brought wide public acclaim and the beginning of cinema history.

The Lumière apparatus consisted of a single camera used for both photographing and projecting at 16 frames per second. Their first films (they made more than 40 during 1896) recorded everyday French life—e.g., the arrival of a train, a game of cards, a toiling blacksmith, the feeding of a baby, soldiers marching, the activity of a city street. Others were early comedy shorts. The Lumières presented the first newsreel, a film of the French Photographic Society Conference, and the first documentaries, four films about the Lyon fire department. Beginning in 1896 they sent a trained crew of innovative cameraman-projectionists to cities throughout the world to show films and shoot new material.

Camera movement

Framing, scale, and shooting angle are all greatly modified by the use of camera movement. Filmmakers began experimenting with camera movement almost immediately after the motion-picture camera was developed. In 1897 photographers employed by Auguste Lumière and Louis Lumière floated a cinématographe, the combination camera-projector devised by the French brothers, in a gondola through Venice to give viewers all over the world a dynamic view of that much-painted city.

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