Toned Blue and Tinted Pink

L’âme des moulins / De Molens die juichen en weenen
R: Alfred Machin. D: Jacques Vandenne, Maurice Mathieu, Germaine Dury, Germaine Lécuyer, Marre. P: Pathé Frères / Hollandsche Film. Fr / Ne 1912
Print: EYE

“One of the gems of the EYE Film Institute Netherlands collections (…) Featuring stencil colors in different sequences as well as tints and tones, the film can serve as a showcase of the whole gamut of Pathé’s applied colors in the pre-WWI era. (The image below) shows a reproduction of a frame from an especially beautiful scene, a chiaroscuro night shot of a man walking towards a mill from De Molens die juichen en weenen. The shot is toned blue and tinted pink. Even in the printed reproduction, the color is recognizable as a blue typically resulting from an Iron Blue tone. The pink is similar to the color obtained with cosin or amaranth, dyes historically commonly used for tinting.”
Ulrich Ruedel, Daniela Curro, and Claudy op den Kamp: Towards a more accurate preservation of color. In:  Simon Brown, Sarah Street, and Liz Watkins (ed.): Color and the Moving Image: History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive. New York and London (Routledge) 2013, p.  223 f.

498-Machin-De molens

>>> George A. Smith’s Colour ExperimentsThe Colours of Pathé, Colours True to Nature

>>> Machin’s Maudite soit la guerre

Netherland’s East Indies

Het dokken van een schip in de haven van Tandjong Priok
R: J.C. Lamster. P: Koloniaal Instituut Amsterdam. NL 1912
Print: EYE collection
Educational film about the operation of the floating dry dock in Batavia (Jakarta)

“The administrative and mercantile heart of the Netherlands East Indies empire was its capital, Batavia. It developed around the old port of Sunda Kelapa but in 1887 the harbor was shifted to more modern facilities developed in Tanjung Priok several kilometers east. Today Tanjung Priok in Jakarta, capital of the Republic of Indonesia, remains the busiest port in the nation of l3,667 islands.”
Bartele Gallery

Autotocht door Bandoeng
R: J.C. Lamster. P:  Koloniaal Instituut Amsterdam / Pathé. NL ca. 1913
Print: EYE

“What were these films able to add to Dutch cognizance about the East Indies that they were not getting from other sources after the turn of the century? Primarily, it was the ability to see what the colony looked like. It was an immersive experience that no  novel, painting or still photograph could reproduce. It gave audiences the possibility to imagine the terrains in which the popular novels they read were situated. They saw the expanse of the environment, the humdrum of daily life and the actual execution of the arts and crafts – far more alive than shadow puppets at a fair, or images in a book. Film moved through space. It situated the viewer in a landscape with quotidian physical detail, yet delivered it in a format that was very exciting – especially a century ago. It picked up the range of expressions on a persons face over bursts of filmic time. It displayed bodily motion in a dance performance. Sometimes the sheer novelty of watching film, any film, was the attraction. One of Lamster’s early films Autotocht Door Bandoeng (Car Ride Through Bandung) utilized the popular ‘phantom ride’ shot where a camera is mounted on a vehicle giving it “a kinetic experience on par with an amusement ride”. It is interesting to note, that about a century later, the KITLV (i.e. Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde), in keeping with the spirit of the simplicity of this innovation, has incorporated it into its visual data-collecting stratagem in their ‘Recording the Future’ undertaking. It was one of the early gimmicks of non-fiction film and it was happening in an exotic location. It was life that was mostly unseen before, presented in a novel simulation of motion.”
Sandeep Ray: Celluloid Colony: Occluded Histories of the Netherlands East Indies from Movie Images (1912-1930). Department of History – National University of Singapore 2015, p. 78-79

>>> Colonial Sujets / Foreign Countries

Documentaries from Holland

Apeldoorn, groot nationaal muziekconcours
R and P unknown. NL 1912
Print: EYE

“Reportage about the four-day music competition in Apeldoorn. On the occasion of its 60th anniversary, the Apeldoorn musical association ‘Harmonie’ organized a four-day national music competition. The event was staged on a grand scale: in addition to the competition, the audience was also able to visit a summer fair and an historical village. The reportage shows various locations and celebrations: the participants’ parade to the city hall, the performance of the festival march in the village square, the visit of Queen Wilhelmina, the fairground with the carnival, the historic village, and the concert. We also see organizing committee posing with Apeldoorn’s Mayor W. Roosmale Nepveu in front of city hall.”


De Rolmattenindustrie te Genemuiden
R: Jules Stoop. P: Filmfabriek Hollandia / Filmfabriek Polygoon. NL 1914
Print: EYE / Nederlands Film Museum

“Film producer and director Jules Stoop came from a family of manufacturers in Haarlem. In January 1913, he succeeded Jan Holtrop as the general mananger of Filmfabriek Hollandia. In 1917, he was also appointed general manager of the newly formed Nederlandsche Maatschappij tot Exploitatie van Witte Films, one of Hollandia’s affiliated companies.
The first film that Stoop directed was the Hollandia film Steenkolenmijnen in Limburg. Hollandia had meanwhile come into financial difficulties, prompting owner Maurits H. Binger to cooperate with the British distributor Harry R. Smith. This led to a collaboration under the name Anglo-Hollandia-films.
During the same period, Stoop wanted to leave Hollandia and start his own company. He came into contact with the brothers I.A. and B.D. Ochse, and together they founded Filmfabriek Polygoon.”

>>> Labour

The Capacity of Visions

651-Twixt love...

Twixt Love and Ambition
D: Edwin August, Ormi Hawley, Buster Johnson, Jane Gail. P: Lubin Manufacturing Company. USA 1912
Print: Library of Congress

Print temporarily not available

“In this one-reel melodrama, a diva on the cusp of stardom must choose between love and her career. Part of the narrative of the film is told through letters between the two lovers, which we are meant to read on screen. Because of the loss of some footage, one or two of the inserts do not remain on the screen very long and it can be difficult to read them quickly enough to understand what they contribute to the story line.”
Betzwood Film Archive

“By 1912, filmmakers’ exploration of the capacity of visions to intensify depth of knowledge could result in complex representations of subjectivity. Twixt Love and Ambition (Lubin 1912) uses two visions to tell the story of a couple, John and Marie, whose relationship suffers because of her opera career. (…) At its simplest level, (the) second vision scene merely serves as a companion piece to the first, demonstrating that John occupies Marie’s thoughts, as she had his. But in the complexity of its representation, this second vision blurs the distinction between one character’s thoughts and another’s. (…) The sequence begins with a brooding Marie but ends with John in anguish; the use of a doubled vision indicates more than simple simultaneity and fluctuates between the consciousnesses of these two characters. (…) The oscillation between two states of mind depicted in this sequence of Twixt Love and Ambition perfectly embodies the sense of suspension signaled by the title.”
Charlie Keil: Early American Cinema in Transition: Story, Style, and Filmmaking, 1907–1913. University of Wisconsin Press 2001, p. 72-74

>>> Siegmund Lubin

German Giants


Der 28. August 1909: Unter brausendem Jubel der Berliner Bevölkerung kreuzte der erste Zeppelin über Berlin (Archivtitel)
P: Messter-Film (?). D 1909
Print: Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv / Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung

To view this film click here

Erste Fernfahrt des Zeppelin LZ 6 von München nach Berlin.

“Mit LZ 6 entstand im Jahr 1909 der erste Zeppelin, der kommerziell für die Beförderung von Fahrgästen eingesetzt wurde. Dazu wurde er von der am 16. November 1909 neu gegründeten Deutschen Luftschiffahrts-AG (DELAG), der ersten Luftreederei der Welt, übernommen. Erstmals wurden mit diesem Schiff auch Versuche für die Verwendung eines Funksystens durchgeführt.”

Riesenflugzeuge der Zeppelin-Werke in Berlin-Staaken bei Spandau
P: Messter-Film. D 1915-1917
Print: Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv

“Mit dem Luftkrieg des Ersten Weltkriegs begann ein neues Kapitel der Kriegsführung, da er erstmals direkt die Zivilbevölkerung weit hinter der Front erreichte. Setzten die Deutschen zunächst Zeppeline zur Bombardierung ein, entwickelten sie aufgrund verbesserter gegnerischer Luftabwehrtechniken in den Folgejahren immer größere und schnellere Flugzeuge. Eines dieser so genannten ‘Riesenflugzeuge’ war das ab 1917 in den Zeppelin Flugzeugwerken in Staaken produzierte Modell „R VI”.”
Das Bundesarchiv, Berlin

>>> Flight and Wreck

>>> 1914: Die ersten Bomben

>>> WAR

Bicycle Stories

Corso cycliste
R + K unknown. P: Pathé. Fr 1898
Location: Vincennes, place de la mairie

Floral Parade of Lady Cyclists
K: Cecil M. Hepworth- P: Hepworth & Co. UK 1899

“There are several bicycle-themed film shorts produced in Britain around this time by the leading early film pioneers, many films also specifically figuring female cyclists. Another film from the same year (i.e. 1896) is Esmé Collings’s Bicycle Rider (1896). R. W. Paul, according to John Barnes the ‘founder of the British film industry’, was later joined by the companies of Cecil M. Hepworth and James Williamson as the leading British filmmakers of the time, and they all produced several bicycle-themed films. Some examples from Hepworth are Ladies on Bicycles (1899), Floral Parade of Lady Cyclists (1899), Comic Costume Race for Cyclists (1899), Egg and Spoon Race for Lady Cyclists (1899) (…)”
Lena Wånggren: New Women, New Technologies: The Interrelation between Gender and Technology at the Victorian Fin de Siècle. The University of Edinburgh 2012, p. 112 fn.

1818 to 1890s Bicycle Models
No credits. Fr 1915
Dutch intertitles
Print: EYE

>>> Sports

>>> more bicycle movies on this site: How to Ride a Bike

Renoir, Monet, Degas – 1915

Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting
R: Sacha Guitry. P: Sacha Guitry. Fr 1915

“In this rare footage from 1915 we see the 74-year-old master seated at his easel, applying paint to a canvas while his youngest son Claude, 14, stands by to arrange the palette and place the brush in his father’s permanently clenched hand. By the time the film was made Renoir could no longer walk, even with crutches. He depended on others to move him around in a wheelchair. His assistants would scroll large canvases across a custom-made easel, so that the seated painter could reach different areas with his limited arm movements.
The film of Renoir was made by 30-year-old Sacha Guitry, who appears midway through the film sitting down and talking with the artist. Guitry was the son of the famous actor and theatre director Lucien Guitry, and would go on to even greater fame than his father as an actor, filmmaker and playwright. When a group of German intellectuals issued a manifesto after the outbreak of World War I bragging about the superiority of German culture, Guitry was infuriated. As an act of patriotism he decided to make a film of France’s great men and women of the arts. It would be released as Ceux de Chez Nous, or ‘Those of Our Land’. Guitry and Renoir were already friends, so when the young man embarked on his project he travelled to Renoir’s home at Cagnes-sur-Mer, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. The date was shortly after June 15, 1915, when Renoir’s wife Aline died.”
Mike Springer
Open Culture

Claude Monet – Filmed Painting Outdoors
R: Sacha Guitry. P: Sacha Guitry. Fr 1915

“Once again, the footage was produced by Sacha Guitry for his project Ceux de Chez Nous, or ‘Those of Our Land’. It was shot in the summer of 1915, when Monet was 74 years old. It was not the best time in Monet’s life. His second wife and eldest son had both died in the previous few years, and his eyesight was getting progressively worse due to cataracts. But despite the emotional and physical setbacks, Monet would soon rebound, making the last decade of his life (he died in 1926 at the age of 86) an extremely productive period in which he painted many of his most famous studies of water lilies.
At the beginning of the film clip we see Guitry and Monet talking with each other. Then Monet paints on a large canvas beside a lily pond. It’s a shame the camera doesn’t show the painting Monet is working on, but it’s fascinating to see the great artist all clad in white, a cigarette dangling from his lips, painting in his lovely garden.”
Mike Springer
Open Culture

Edgar Degas – Filmed Walking Down a Paris Street
R: Sacha Guitry. P: Sacha Guitry. Fr 1915

Edgar Degas was nearly blind when this film footage was taken in 1915. The great French Impressionist painter had begun to lose his eyesight in his thirties, when he became extremely sensitive to bright light and experienced a loss of vision in his right eye. Degas developed blind spots in both eyes, and by the time he was in his forties he had lost a significant part of his central vision. (…) When the young actor Sacha Guitry approached the retired artist about appearing in his film Ceux de Chez Nous, (…) Degas flatly refused to participate. Undeterred, Guitry became a sort of pioneering paparazzi: He set up his camera near Degas’s home on the Boulevard de Clichy and waited in ambush for the 81-year-old man to pass by on one of his regular walks.
The resulting film is brief, but fascinating. The great painter strolls along with a female helper, a bowler hat on his head and a folded overcoat under one arm, using an umbrella as a walking stick. When he gets closer to the camera we can see that Degas is wearing the tinted glasses he customarily used to shield what was left of his eyesight from the harsh daylight. When the old man reaches the edge of the frame, the woman’s hand takes hold of his arm, and then he’s gone.”
Mike Springer
Open Culture

>>> Arts and Artists

Maurits Binger, a Dutch Director

De levende ladder
R: Maurits H. Binger. B: Maurits H. Binger. D: Annie Bos, Alex Benno, Coba Kinsbergen, Barend Barendse, Louis Bouwmeester. P: Hollandia / Maatschappij voor Artistieke Cinematografie. NL 1912/13
Engl. version (The Burning Mill)
Print: eye

Maurits H. Binger (1868-1923)
“In May of 1912, he co-founded two film societies: de Maatschappij voor Wetenschappelijke Cinematografie and de Maatschappij voor Artistieke Cinematografie. These companies produced documentaries and feature films, respectively. In 1913, both companies merged into Filmfabriek Hollandia. Binger was above all an entrepreneur, and film was his hobby. But after the departure of Hollandia’s first permanent director, Louis H. Chrispijn Sr., Binger started directing more frequently. With about thirty feature films to his name, he became one of the most productive Dutch directors of the 1910s. After the First World War, Binger tried to expand Hollandia internationally by working with the British distributor A.G. Granger and the director B.E. Doxat-Pratt. The cooperation did not lead to the desired success, and soon after Binger’s premature death in 1923, his brainchild Filmfabriek Hollandia was declared bankrupt.”

“He (i.e. Binger) engaged former strage director Louis Chrispijn Sr. to direct films starring Annie Bos. Typical Dutch settings were filmed on location: long stretches of beach, countryside windmills, and the Volandam or Amsterdam canals became Chrispijn’s trademarks. (…) Hollandia’s financial situation deteriorated in 1919. The nonfiction branch reorganized as Polygoon, and the hybrid ‘boring British’ fiction films, produced by Anglo-Hollandia, lost their appeal.”
Ansje van Beusekom, in: Richard Abel (ed.): Encyclopedia of Early Cinema. Taylor & Francis 2005, p. 303

Het geheim van den vuurtoren
R: Maurits H. Binger. B: Maurits H. Binger (as M. Habée). D: Louis H. Chrispijn, Coen Hissink, Greta Gijswijt, Willem van der Veer, Esther De Boer-van Rijk, Jan van Dommelen, Annie Bos, Willem Faassen, Christine van Meeteren. P: Filmfabriek Hollandia. NL 1915/16
Engl. version (The Secret of the Lighthouse)
Print: eye

>>> more about Annie Bos on this website

>>> more about Louis Bouwmeester: ‘The Greatest Actor of the Netherlands’

Re-enactment: Dutch History

Nederland en Oranje
R: Louis H. Chrispijn Senior. B: Louis H. Chrispijn Senior. P: Maatschappij voor Wetenschappelijke en Artistieke Cinematografie. NL 1913

In this film, made to commemorate the centenary of the Dutch royal family, twenty scenes portraying highlights from Dutch history are shown, from the Eighty Years’ War to King Willem I’s return from exile in England (1813).

“In the first segment, Willem the Silent (Jan van Dommelen) and the Van Brederode are demanding freedom of religion for the repressed Dutch citizens with governor Margaret of Parma (Christine van Meeteren). Charles de Berlaymont, sharing the opinion with Willem the Silent, opposes the Spanish dictation and introduces the ‘honorary title’ Geuzen. Together with his men, he swears ‘Death or Freedom’. Meanwhile, Balthasar Gérard (Theo Frenkel), an admirer of Willem the Silent’s enemy Philip II of Spain, unexpectedly assassins Willem the Silent. The second segment features Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, as he performs at his Muiderslot. In the following, Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange (Charles Gilhuys) battles for the Netherlands’ independence. The fourth segment includes Kenau Simonsdochter Hasselaer during the Siege of Haarlem. Next is the Siege of Breda, where one of the soldiers gets heavily ill, while a battle with the Spanish is near. The continuing is a description of the siege, ending with the capture of Breda.

The following segment involves the escape of Hugo Grotius from Loevestein via a casket, organized by his wife (Mientje Kling) and a maid. Then comes the Siege of ‘s-Hertogenbosch by Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange (Willem Roemer). In an interlude, Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Jan Steen are seen in different scenes creating a painting. What comes after is a wedding taking place between Kloris and Roosje. In a bigger story, John William Friso, Prince of Orange (Marcel Mijin) is in Taisnières-sur-Hon to fight the Battle of Malplaquet. Subsequently, Michiel de Ruyer (Jan Buderman) and Maarten Tromp (Jan Holtrop) end their struggle after a long fight through help from William III of England (Louis van Dommelen). Attention then shifts to stadthouder William IV, Prince of Orange, followed by William V, Prince of Orange. Their crown was taken over by Louis Bonaparte. The film ends with William I of the Netherlands‘ (Jan van Dommelen) arrival in Scheveningen and his oath to the constitution.”

>>> History of the Netherlands


A Dutch-French Crime Drama

Het geheim van het staal (Joachim Goethal et le secret de l’acier)
R: Alfred Machin. D: Léon Mathot. P: Hollandsche Film. NL / Fr 1912
Distributed by Kinematograaf Pathé Frères
Print: EYE

“The Holland National Steel Foundry discovers the secret for the manufacture of a wonderful steel. Piet Goethal, an old workman of the foundry, has two prides, the steel works and his son Joachim. The latter is in love with Maria, the daughter of Alsteen, the local beer-seller, but she refuses to marry him as he has no money. Consequently Joachim falls an easy prey to a foreign secret service agent who bribes him to steal the secret formula. He is disturbed in the act and pursued through the works. To escape pursuit, he tips up a converter, which sets the foundry on fire. Old Piet becomes aware of his son’s criminal act and proclaims the young fellow’s guilt to his former masters. Joachim, however, is not arrested, for he flies to a foreign country where he seeks to expiate his guilt in exile.”

>>> Alfred Machin – Belgium 1914Machin in AfricaMachin – A French Director in Belgium on this website