R. W. Paul: Blackfriars Bridge

Blackfriars Bridge
R / K: R.W.Paul. P: Paul’s Animatograph Works. UK 1896

“An actuality record of Blackfriars Bridge, London, taken from the southern end looking northwards over the Thames by R.W. Paul in July 1896. It was screened as part of his Alhambra Theatre programme shortly afterwards, certainly no later than 31 August, as it is included in a printed programme of that date (as ‘Traffic on Blackfriars Bridge’). Two or three of the pedestrians seem aware of the camera’s presence, though not to any particularly noticeable extent.”
Michael Brooke
Screen Online

“Paul’s single shot film, Blackfriars Bridge (1896) is typical of the visuel density and local appeal of the actuality. Paul positions his camera to maximise the illusion of immediacy and experiential authenticity. Pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages and omnibuses move in and out of frame in a single shot sequence filmed from the side of one of London’s most iconic bridges. Like so many early actualities, the viewer’s gaze is returned by some of the pedestrians who either look straight into the lens as they approach, or look back as if to catch the eye of the camera as they pass. (…) These moments of gradual apprehension are as much the subject of the film as the bustling traffic of Blackfriars Bridge. The indiscriminate spectacle of movement captured prevails, as multiple anonymous faces and bodies move with varying gaits and bearing through the same public space.”
Helen Groth: Moving Images: Nineteenth-Century Reading and Screen Practices. Edinburgh University Press 2013, p. 167

“The definition of ‘rush hour’ in London grows woollier as the years pass: at its worst it seems to stretch demonically from 6am to 9pm. Journey back over a century to July 1896 though and this tantalising half-minute of footage reveals our Victorian counterparts making their way to work across the Thames by tram, horse-drawn carriage and, for the health-conscious (or the poor), good old Shanks’ pony. More or less business as usual then, although compared to the daily human onslaught we face in 21st century London, the commuters caught by R.W. Paul’s static camera proceed at an enviably elegant pace.”
Simon McCallum
archive.org

>>> LANDSCAPES, URBAN VIEWS

More about Robert W. Paul on this site:

>>> 1898: A Story to ContinueThe First SightDangerous Cars II

A Real Clown of the Silent Era

Robinet innamorato di una chanteuse
R: Marcel Fabre (i.e. Marcel Perez). D: Marcel Fabre, Gigetta Morano. P: Società Anonima Ambrosio. It 1911
Dutch titles

Robinet chauffeur miope
R: Marcel Fabre. D: Marcel Fabre. P: Società Anonima Ambrosio. It 1914
Dutch titles

“One of the happy discoveries of Steve Massa’s new book ‘Lame Brains and Lunatics’ is Marcel Perez (Manuel Fernandez Perez, 1884-1929). Well enough known in the silent era, Massa postulates that Perez’s present obscurity may stem from the fact that his screen name and identity changed so many times (he also changed nations and studios constantly, but that tended to be less of a problem back in the day, when the movie market was truly international.)
Born in Madrid, Perez moved to Paris in his youth and began performing in music halls, circuses and theatres. Like many clowns of the silent era, he was a small man: five feet tall, 125 lbs. His film career in Paris begins circa 1907 where he appeared in at least a couple of shorts for the Eclipse and Gaumont studios. Thus he was one of the earliest comedy stars. In 1910, he began working for Italy’s Ambrosio Company, writing and performing as Marcel Fabre, playing a character called Robinet in Europe, which was translated into Tweedledum in the United States (you see where it’s already getting confusing). World War I forced him to America in 1915, where he made at least one short for Universal’s Joker series (…). He then became Tweedledum again for Eagle Films in 1916, then was known by the unlovely name of ‘Twede-Dan’ at Jester starting in 1918. In 1921 he went over to Reelcraft where he became known as ‘Tweedy’. In 1922, a horrible accident involving a garden rake (which occurred during the filming of one of his comedies) resulted in the loss of a leg, and from this point, he becomes primarily a director of comedies and westerns, both shorts and features. He died of lung cancer in 1929.”
TRAVALANCHE

>>> Slapstick Italiano: Marcel Perez on this site
>>> His great adventure film Saturnino Farandola  on this site

468-Marcel_Fabre_1

Marcel Perez alias Marcel Fabre

Vitagraph’s Shakespeare

Julius Caesar
R: J. Stuart Blackton, William V. Ranous. B: Theodore A. Liebler Jr. (scenario), William Shakespeare (play. D: Charles Kent, William Shea, Maurice Costello, William V. Ranous, Florence Lawrence, Paul Panzer, Earle Williams. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1908
Print: BFI
German intertitles

Shakespeare’s historical tragedy of the rise and fall of Julius Caesar, told in fifteen scenes. One of plays by William Shakespeare adapted by the Vitagraph Company of America in 1908. The others were A Comedy of Errors, Othello , Macbeth , Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, Antony and Cleopatra and The Merchant of Venice.
IMDb

“Shakespearean texts and intertexts had far-reaching manifestations, encompassing everything from relatively inexpensive editions of the complete works, to inclusion in school curricula, to ephemera such as advertsing cards. Yet contemporary commentary indicates that knowledge of Shakespeare, for the most part, was limited to the familiarity with famous phrases, speeches and scenes. (…) Even at Shespearean performances, stated many critics, much of the audiences engaged primarily with theatrical spectacles rather than the ‘beauty’ of Shakespeare’s poetry. Shakespeare’s presence (…) took the form of a widely circulated ‘reductionist’ (in a nonpejorative sense) approach to the complex urtexts.”
Willam Uricchio and Roberta E. Pearson: Dante’s Inferno and Caesar’s Ghost: Intertextuality and Conditions of Reception in Early American Cinema. In: Richard Abel (ed.): Silent Film. A&C Black 1996, p. 226

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
R: Charles Kent/J. Stuart Blackton. B: Eugene Mullin; William Shakespeare (comedy). D: Florence Turner (Titania), Julia Swayne Gordon, Maurice Costello, Gladys Hulette, Clara Kimball Young. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1909
Print: Silent Hall of Fame

Twelfth Night
R: Charles Kent. B: Eugene Mullin (scenario), William Shakespeare (play). D: Julia Swayne Gordon, Charles Kent, Florence Turner. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1910

“A measurement of Turner’s prominence at Vitagraph can be taken when one considers the nature of her performances in a selection of her extant films. A skilled comedienne, Turner nonetheless excelled in dramatic roles that called upon her growing command of the developing verisimilar style perfected at Vitagraph during this time. In particular, reflexive roles casting Turner as an actress seemed designed to showcase her prodigious talent. In Renunciation (1910), for example, Turner plays a young woman whose fiancé’s father persuades her to discourage his son’s attentions by emulating a state of dissolution. The film’s success hinges on Turner’s ability to portray convincingly an actress giving a performance designed to deceive her diegetic audience, while at the same time prompting the film’s viewers to recognize both the persuasiveness of the performance and the true emotions the character experiences when engaged in the ruse. Possibly Turner’s most demanding role was the rejected lover in Jealousy (1911), a film now lost. Promoted by Vitagraph as ‘A Study in the Art of Dramatic Expression by Florence E. Turner’, the film was a tour de force for the actress, as she was the sole performer on-screen for the entirety of Jealousy‘s running time.”
Charlie Keil
Women Film Pioneers Project

>>> Starring: The Girls on this site

Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset (4)

Au pays des ténèbres
R: Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset. B: Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset (scenario), André de Lorde (play). Based on the novel “Germinal” by Emile Zola. K: Lucien Androit. D: Charles Krauss, André Liabel, Paul Guidé, Marcel Vibert, Maryse Dauvray, Cécile Guyon. P: Société Française des Films Éclair. Fr 1911/1912
Print: CINEMATEK
Dutch titles
French subtitles

“Au pays des ténèbres est un film français réalisé par Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset en 1911 et sorti en 1912. Il est adapté du roman ‘Germinal’ d’Émile Zola. Le film raconte l’histoire d’une communauté qui subit une catastrophe minière, probablement inspirée par la catastrophe de Courrières. La plupart des scènes ont été tournées à Charleroi.
Musique: Dion de Syracuse”
CINEMATEK/YouTube

“Au pays des ténèbres (The Land of Darkness, 1912), a drama about miners. This was released in the Netherlands under the German title ‘Glück auf!’, which referred both the greeting exchanged by miners and a play of the same name by Herman Heijermans, which had been staged in the Netherlands in 1910.”
Ivo Blom: Jean Desmet and the Early Dutch Film Trade. Amsterdam University Press, 2003, p. 160

“Both Éclair and Pathé (…) released adaptations of  Zola’s ‘Germinal’ (1885), a work whose ambivalent attitude toward violence as a means of improving industrial labor conditions may have seemed relatively safe for the screen now that the syndicalists and their general strike strategy were on the decline. Jasset’s adaption, Au pays des ténèbres (1912), was part of a series of so-called social dramas that Éclair  began to produce in late 1911. This two-part film upated Zola’s story to the present and condensed it into the rivalry of two miners, Charles Mercourt (Charles Krauss) and Louis Drouard (Marcel Vibert), over an orphan girl, Claire Lenoir (Cécile Guyon), who is torn between them and her own attraction to a young engineer, Roger Joris (Liabel). There is some truth to Sadoul’s charge that this film reduces the working-class milieu of the northern coal fields to an exotic backdrop for romantic intrigue, ‘in which princes [still] marry shepherdesses.’ But Jasset’s work does have considerable merit, as Sadoul himself acknowledged. For one thing, Éclair’s publicity drew attention to the location shooting in Belgium, which is especially notable in the first reel where the two miners walk with Claire along a country canal and Claire later persuades Charles not to drawn himself. For another, the studio decors for the mine interiors are quite detailed, and the acting of the principals is consistently restrained.”
Richard Abel: The Ciné Goes to Town. French Cinema 1896 – 1914. Updated and Expanded Edition. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London 1998, p. 344

>>> Capellani’s Germinal on this site

Le mystère du pont Notre Dame
R: Emile Chautard, Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset. B: Emile Chautard (scenario), Pierre Sales (novel). D: Germaine Dermoz, Gilbert Dallev, Henri Gouget, Roger Karl, André Liabel, Renée Sylvaire, Edmond Duquesne. P: Société Française des Films Éclair. Fr 1912
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

Summary
“Germaine Darlot’s father forbids a marriage between her and Claude Duval. Claude wants to commit suicide because of this, but when he wants to jump into the river he drives away a robber who has just robbed a rich gentleman. He drags the rich gentleman to his house, who dies there. Claude and Germaine flee to the colonies, where Claude becomes the mining director. When another woman fancies Claude, Germaine becomes jealous, suspects him of adultery, and reports Claude. He is sentenced to twenty years in prison. Germaine becomes a nurse at the prison where Claude is being held and where the ‘real’ robber also happens to be. He was seriously injured in an explosion and on his deathbed he confesses to Germaine the true story. Claude is restored to honor, and their marriage receives the blessing of Germaine’s father.”
EYE/YouTube

>>> Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset (1)Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset (2), Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset (3)

>>> Emile Chautard

TRAUM UND EXZESS, S. 305

Anything but Realism

Aux feux de la rampe
(Les batailles de la vie – Épisode 1)
R: Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset. B: Robert Boudrioz (scenario). K: Lucien N. Andriot. D: Josette Andriot, Cécile Guyon, André Liabel. P: Société Française des Films Éclair. Fr 1912
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

Two former lovers meet twenty years later when the man has to compete with the son of the woman. (EYE)

“Le capitaine Delord et la jeune mademoiselle de Breteuil s’aiment, et vont se marier… sauf que le jeune militaire est gravement blessé, ce qui va entraîner la fin de leurs fiançailles. Vingt années plus tard, la jeune femme est devenue la veuve d’un comte, et leur fils Raoul se lance dans la vie: il est reporter, et écrit un article très critique sur le vieux général Delord… Celui-ci voit rouge et décide de provoquer le jeune paltoquet en duel, ignorant qu’il s’agit du fils de son ancienne bonne amie… Celle-ci va devoir intervenir.”
Allen John’s attic

“Early efforts to tone down the excess of melodrama can be found in the prewar series of so-called realist films made by Louis Feuillade for Gaumont (La vie telle qu’elle est, 1912), Ferdinand Zecca and René Leprince for Pathé (Scènes de la vie cruelles, Scènes de la vie bourgeoise, Drames de la vie moderne, 1912) and Victorin Jasset for Éclair (Les batailles de la vie, 1913). The titles are quite revealing in terms of the ingenuousness of their misrepresentation for, as the films themselves reveal, they are anything but the ‘slice of life’ or ‘kitchen sink’ realism they purport to be but instead are fairly indistinguishable from the moralising melodramas even though the subject matter is more orientated towards social issues. Thus, for example, the evils of greed and the deleterious effects of strikes and syndicalism make frequent forays on to the screen, only to be swept aside by the recentring forces of right-minded thinking (i.e. the bourgeois morality).”
Susan Hayward: French National Cinema. Routledge 2006, p. 101

>>> Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset (1)Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset (2), Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset (3)

Alice Guy in America – 2

Two Little Rangers
R: Alice Guy. D: Vinnie Burns, Blanche Cornwall, Magda Foy. P: Solax Film Company. USA 1912
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

“By 1911, Solax was making enough money for the Blachés [i.e. Alice Guy and her husband Herbert Blaché] to move into their own large house. (…) For the two years that it was successful, the Solax Company jump-started the careers of several actors and made stars out of performers such as Darwin Karr and Blanche Cornwall, who starred in a series of melodramas that critiqued the social system, such as A Man’s a Man (1912), The Roads That Lead Home (1913), The Girl in the Armchair (1913), and The Making of an American Citizen (1911) as well as action films like The Detective and His Dog (1912) and the multi-reeler The Pit and the Pendulum (1913). (…)  Guy also made numerous action films with female characters as heroes, many of them starring Vinnie Burns. Guy first cast Burns when she was an unknown teenager, then trained her to do her own stunts in actions films such as Two Little Rangers (1912), Greater Love Hath No Man (1913), and Guy’s masterpiece at Solax, the three-reeler Dick Whittington and His Cat (1913), for which the director had a real boat detonated.”
Alison McMahan
Women Film Pioneers Project

The Pit and the Pendulum (part I)
R: Alice Guy. B: Edgar A. Poe (novel). D: Darwin Karr, Fraunie Fraunholz, Blanche Cornwall, Joseph Levering. P: Solax Film Company. USA 1913

“The first adaptation of “The Pit and the Pendulum” was directed by Alice Guy-Blanché, the first woman to ever step behind the camera. Released in 1913, the film focuses on young lovers (Darwin Karr and Fraunie Fraunholz), who are framed for stealing jewels from the Church, leading them to being arrested and tortured. The Pit and the Pendulum (1913) was remarkably horrific for its day, including graphic details of live rats gnawing at Alonzo’s chest, among other tortures — presumably including a pit and a pendulum. Unfortunately, this is all secondhand from contemporary reviews, as Alice Guy’s adaptation of “The Pit and the Pendulum” is partially lost, with only the first of its three reels surviving.”
Perry Ruhland
DAILY DEAD

>>> Griffith’s Edgar Allan Poe on this site

>>> Alice Guy in America – 1

Submerged in Gloom? Not Really.

Jack
R: André Liabel. B: Alphonse Daudet (novel). D: Villeneuve, Damorès, Olga Demidoff, Renée Sylvaire, Bahier. P: Société Française des Films Éclair. Fr 1913
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

“Drama about the life of Jack, a boy who grows up without a father. Jack is sent to boarding school by his mother. He decides to leave school when his mother marries one of the teachers. He soon finds work as an apprentice metal worker, but after a false accusation of theft, he embarks on a boat as a stoker in Saint-Nazaire. The ship perishes, but Jack survives. Eventually he goes to Paris to study medicine because he is in love with Cecile, the doctor’s daughter, where he ended up after his ship accident. She later rejects him because she is ashamed that he is a bastard. Jack dies of sorrow.”
EYE

Extended summary in English: Moving Picture World synopsis

“This is a four-part picture made by the Paris Eiclair Company, from the novel of Alphonse Daudet. The production does not make good entertainment for the average house. It will, of course, have greater interest for the comparative few who have read the book. The whole story is submerged in gloom; there is not a light, a sprightly touch throughout the length of the picture. There is a good cast, among the players being Mr. Liable and Miss Sylvaire. The death of Jack was painfully prolonged.”
The Moving Picture World, December 20, 1913

Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897), French short-story writer and novelist, now remembered chiefly as the author of sentimental tales of provincial life in the south of France. (…) Psychologically, Daudet represents a synthesis of conflicting elements, and his actual experience of life at every social level and in the course of travels helped to develop his natural gifts. A true man of the south of France, he combined an understanding of passion with a view of the world illuminated by Mediterranean sunlight and allowed himself unfettered flights of the imagination without ever relaxing his attention to the detail of human behaviour. (…) As he grew older Daudet became more and more preoccupied with the great conflicts in human relationship, as is evident in his later novels: ‘Jack’ (1876) presents a woman torn between physical and maternal love; ‘Numa Roumestan’ (1881), the antagonism between the northern and the southern character in man and woman; ‘L’Évangéliste’ (1883), filial affection struggling against religious fanaticism; and ‘La Petite Paroisse’ (1895), the contrarieties of jealousy.” (…)
Jacques-Henry Bornecque
ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA

André Liabel was a French actor, film director and screenwriter, known for Zigomar, peau d’anguille – Episode 1 (1913, dir. by Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset), Koenigsmark (1923, dir. by Léonce Perret) and Dans l’ombre du harem (1928, dir. Liabel with Léon Mathot). He began his career as comedian by working full-time as an actor for the cinematographic compagny Laboratoires Éclair which had just opened its new studios at Épinay-sur-Seine in 1908. He performed in more than sixty films until 1933. He also was assistant director.
Wikipedia/IMDb

>>> Liabel as actor in Zigomar contre Nick Carter on this site

Westerns: Too much of this sort?

The Hero Track Walker
R: Kenean Buel (?). D: George Melford, Alice Joyce, Frank Lanning. P: Kalem. USA 1911
Print: EYE
German titles

“Willy (George Melford) is a cowboy who gets fired, and then teams up with an Indian to rob a train. He rescues Myrtle (Alice Joyce), who has been chased up a tree by a cow. She takes a liking to him, which the Indian notices. He apparently isn’t crazy about the robbery scheme, and while Willy sets fire to the railroad trestle, the Indian rides over and informs Myrtle, and they rush to the scene. Myrtle throws away the dynamite just in time, and then tells everyone that Willy was the hero, and he is surprised to be rewarded. Very far-fetched plot and poor character motivation, but it is lighthearted and at least the picture is clear. Kalem manages to get a train into the film. German intertitles.”
Viewing comments Stanford

The Mystery of Lonely Gulch
R: Theodore Wharton. D: George Larkin. P: Pathé Frères / American Kinema. USA 1910
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

Summary (Moving Picture World synopsis)

“A film by the American company of this house which has merits, yet it can scarcely be said to come up to the quality of the pictures produced by the same house upon other subjects. There is such a strong disposition in these times to run to mining or ranching pictures that the Pathe firm has caught the infection and this is one of the films produced. The acting is good, as the acting in all Pathe films is good, but it is the same threadbare subject, with but the impersonation of an actor to afford a novelty. There is too much of this sort of thing in the present output of the various companies. Unless some novel feature is reproduced the films mean little and the many of them that have been turned out have become in a way commonplace. The situations here are perhaps somewhat novel, for actors and actresses do not as a rule travel in such a country; still, when an actress succeeds in landing what this one terms an easy mark, possibly their presence anywhere can be satisfactorily explained. Owing to the suspicions of the sheriff the chicanery of the couple is exposed, the man is arrested and the woman sent about her business. The ending is quite in keeping with the idea of punishing wickedness which generally obtained, but the methods taken to secure the money of the ranchman are open to criticism. They are rather suggestive in their application and might afford a basis upon which a weak minded person might operate.”
The Moving Picture World, November 5, 1910

More Wharton films on this site:
The Bang Sun Engine (New Adventures of J. Rufus Wallingford, No. 7)
From the Submerged

A Vitagraph Commercial

A Vitagraph Romance
R: James Young. B: James Young (scenario). D: Clara Kimball Young, Flora Finch, J. Stuart Blackton, Edward Kimball, James Morrison, Albert E. Smith, William T. Rock, Florence Turner, Ruth Owen, Edith Storey. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1912
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

“It tells a good story convincingly and uses the Vitagraph plant as a background and in a very interesting way. The romance has its beginning at a seaside resort of which we have seen some pretty glimpses. It is here that a young author (James Morrison) meets and falls in love with the daughter of a senator (Clara Kimball Young). The senator (Edward Kimball) refuses his consent and sends the girl to boarding school where we find Flora Finch as the principal. There’s a moonlight elopement from the school troubled waters for the young people and then they get a job with The ViItagraph Company where at length the forgiving senator finds them. The Vitagraph scenes are very good. In the office, Messrs. W.T. Rock, A.E. Smith and J. Stewart Blackton are in consultation. Mr. S.M. Spedon enters for a moment just before the senator is introduced. The visitor is conducted through the yard so to the studio where one of Miss Florence Turner’s pictures is being made. This he interrupts to greet his daughter right in the middle of a scene. Mr. James Young is both author and producer and has made an excellent offering.”
Moving Picture World, September 28, 1912

“Since the earliest days of the motion picture, fans have always been inquisitive about what went behind the scenes.  In response of a flood of questions from readers, fan magazines ran hundreds of articles that attempted to unravel the mysteries of movie making – how screenplays were written, movies filmed, actors trained. Many early films, too, catered to the curiosities of eager fans. A series of movies, A Vitagraph Romance (1912) and Mabel’s Dramatic Career (1913), and two Charlie Chaplin films, A Film Johnnie (1914) and His New Job (1915) dramatized the joys and pitfalls of filmmaking for all the world to see.”
S. Barbas: Movie Crazy: Stars, Fans, and the Cult of Celebrity. Springer 2016, p. 116/117

>>> James Young films Jerry’s Mother-In-LawThe Picture Idol

Flora Finch and John Bunny

Stenographer Troubles
R: Frederick A. Thomson. B: Van Dyke Brooke. D: John Bunny, Flora Finch, Florence Turner, Lillian Walker, Clara Kimball Young, Norma Talmadge. P: Vitagraph. USA 1913
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

“One of the funniest Bunny pictures that has come out. The very best Vitagraph players have good roles, and it made a houseful roar with laughter. Flora Finch, as the stenographer who is acceptable to the boss, John Bunny, because he thinks there will be no danger of her flirting instead of working, draws a most astonishingly farcical character. When Florence Turner, Bunny’s rather fiery wife, got in a rage on account of her the house bellowed. It most surely is a picture not to be missed. It is full of good character and full of laughter from beginning to end. Such a picture will repay special advertising.”
Moving Picture World, February 22, 1913

>>> John Bunny and Flora Finch on this site

>>> The Stenographer’s Friend

A touching, yet forceful play

Monsieur
R: Unknown. D: Marc McDermott, Miriam Nesbitt, Robert Conness, Nancy Avril. P: Edison Manufacturing Company. USA 1911
Print: EYE (Desmet Collection)
Dutch titles

Based on a story by mystery writer Thomas Hanshew, the creator of master criminal Hamilton Cleck. (Ken Wlaschin)

Summary

A touching, yet forceful, play. It has one scene which is notably dramatic. To find the father of the girl he hopes to win, a waiter in a fashionable café is the situation which confronts a resourceful young American. Equal to the occasion he has the waiter join the party as a guest and makes it a betrothal supper. The scene showing the discovery of the father will linger long in the memory. It shows clearly how wealthy folk may come to hard times and as clearly that bad luck doesn’t always last forever. Many things in America require quick action; in this play the young man’s resourcefulness is a feature which counts for much. The drama is perfectly staged and the photography is clear. The picture is above the average release in its dramatic force and its mechanical work.”
The Moving Picture World, April 22, 1911

ÉCLAIR Scientia

“La série Scientia éditée par Eclair s’inscrit dans une filiation scientifique, pédagogique et spectaculaire. Son intérêt pour les insectes peut très certainement être rattaché au succès qui accompagna la publication en 1907 des Souvenirs d’un entomologiste, la référence à Jean-Henri Fabre se trouvant exprimée de façon tout à fait explicite dans un intertitre, tandis que certains scénarios documentaires mettent en images les descriptions du scientifique. (…) Ce sont d’abord les salles de cinéma, où se rassemblait un très large public, qui furent envahies par le bestiaire de Scientia, les films étant inscrits dans les programmes hebdomadaires distribués par Eclair. Mais il est certain que les dirigeants de la société de production étaient convaincus de la mission éducative du cinéma et du potentiel économique que ce secteur recouvrait. La lecture de ‘Film-Revue’ permet de pénétrer dans une connaissance plus approfondie du quotidien de la société de production. (…)
Dans la concurrence que se livrent les grandes sociétés de production françaises dans les années 1910, la réalisation et la distribution de films scientifiques est un élément important de ce combat commercial, chaque société essayant de renchérir sur ses adversaires. Les sujets sont repris d’une société à l’autre, chacune adoptant une approche qui lui est propre. Éclair choisit résolument le mode de la vulgarisation afin de mettre à la disposition du public des bandes compréhensibles par tous. C’est souvent par le biais de l’humour que la série Scientia mit en scène les sujets qu’elle portait à l’écran. La société Éclair accompagna dans sa publication ‘Film-Revue’ les réalisations de la série.”
Ciné Mémoire Epinay

Le scorpion
P: Éclair Scientia. Fr 1912
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

Le dytique
P: Éclair Scientia. Fr 1912
Print: EYE (Desmet collection)
Dutch titles

(Microscopic) shots of dytiscidae , a family of water beetles, which can swim, fly, walk and live in the water.
EYE

Les salamandres
P: Éclair Scientia. Fr 1912
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

Scientific film about different types of salamanders with an accurate report of their developments and natural environment.
EYE

Moeurs des araignées des champs
P: Éclair Scientia. Fr 1913
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

Nature film about the life of spiders. Recordings of various spider species, including the Meta menardi, the Tetragnatha, the Eresus, the Chirauchantie, the Argiope, and the Theridion.
EYE

>>> Nature / Science within the section EARLY DOCUMENTARY FILMS II