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

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

Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset (2)

Zigomar contre Nick Carter
R: Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset. B: Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset, Léon Sazie (novel). K: Lucien N. Andrio. D: Alexandre Arquillière, Charles Krauss, André Liabel, Josette Andriot, Olga Demidoff, Paul Guidé. P: Société Française des Films Éclair. Fr 1912
Print: EYE

“Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset (1862 – 1913) was an early film pioneer in France, active between the years 1905 and 1913. He worked on many genres of film and was particularly associated with the development of detective or crime serials, such as the Nick Carter and Zigomar series. (…) In 1905 he was hired by the Gaumont Film Company to work with Alice Guy on film productions such as La Esméralda (1905), based on Victor Hugo’s ‘Notre Dame de Paris’, and La Vie du Christ (1906), working firstly as a designer and then as assistant director. After a short period working for the Éclipse film company, Jasset was engaged in 1908 by the new Éclair production company to make film series beginning with Nick Carter, le roi des détectives; the detective hero Nick Carter was based on the series of popular American novels which were then being published in France by the German publisher Eichler. Jasset kept the name of the character but invented new adventures with a Parisian setting; the first six sections that Jasset directed were released at bi-weekly intervals in late 1908, and each one narrated a complete story. (…)
In 1911 he made Zigomar, taking his title character from the popular newspaper and magazine stories of Léon Sazie about a master-criminal; this feature-length film was so successful that a second title, Zigomar contre Nick Carter (1912), was made ready within six months, and a third instalment followed in 1913, Zigomar peau d’anguille. Jasset adapted other popular novels such as Gaston Leroux’s ‘Balaoo’ in 1913, and in the same year ‘Protéa’, a spy story in which for the first time the title character was a woman, played by a long-time favourite actress of Jasset, Josette Andriot; the Protéa series continued after Jasset’s death. In 1912 Jasset turned from fantasy and spectacle to realism in making the first of two Zola adaptations, as part of Éclair’s new series of social dramas. For Au pays des ténèbres, based on ‘Germinal’, he took his crew to Charleroi in Belgium to film in authentic locations, and although he updated the story to the present, he went to great lengths to recreate in the studio the detail of the actual mining galleries, exploiting the ability of film to be a recorder of contemporary reality. In the following year, Jasset filmed Zola’s ‘La Terre’ (1913).”
WikiVisually

Balaoo (Fragm.)
R: Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset. B: Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset, Gaston Leroux (novel). K: Lucien N. Andriot. D: Lucien Bataille, Camille Bardou, Henri Gouget, Madeleine Grandjean. P: Société Française des Films Éclair. Fr 1913

“All film histories have sung the praises of Louis Feuillade, while only a faint and superficial memory of Victorin Jasset remains. But he was the first to bring to the screen, well before Feuillade’s Fantômas (1913) and Les Vampires (1914), the thrilling adventures of Zigomar and of Protéa. These films, suffused with generous amounts of self-irony, had a wonderful knack of telling audiences that everything they saw on the screen was pure fantasy, joyfully, playfully poking fun at the mystery adventures that Feuillade directed with such serious, heavy-handed and punctilious realism.” Vittorio Martinelli
XXXIX Mostra Internazionale

>>> Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset (1)

>>> Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset (3)

A Firework of Colours

Grand Display of Brock’s Fireworks at the Crystal Palace
(Festa pirotecnica nel cielo di Londra)
R: George Albert Smith. P: Charles Urban Trading Company. UK 1904

“The Brock’s Fireworks Ltd celebrates its fortieth anniversary by organizing a truly explosive show. The technique of the colors painted directly on the film print turns out perfect to display a spectacular fireworks show.
The video is a copy from the film print held by the Museo Nazionale del Cinema: 35mm, positive, polyester, 82 m, colour (from a tinted and toned nitrate print).”
Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino

“Fireworks in general might be seen as a kind of abstract art, and here, the applied hues standing out against dark backgrounds give them an appealing unreal quality. The second half of the film shifts its focus to more representational light displays: a naval battle, a cockfight, firemen trying to extinguish a blaze, portraits of then-king Edward VII and his wife Alexandra.”
Erin
Cinematic Scribblings

“A truly beautiful example of early cinematic colour tinting, displayed at a fireworks display that was put on show at the now destroyed Crystal Palace. True this wasn’t the first display of colour in an early piece of film (There are countless examples in the year preceding this) but director George Albert Smith manages to capture all of the explosive wonder of seeing such dazzling fireworks with such a meticulous sense of detail, to the point where this almost feels like an abstract piece of modern art. It’s a truly breathtaking little gem, that’s far more than just a interesting little curio which some people have made it out to be.”
#georgealbertsmith Instagram Posts

>>> George A. Smith’s Colour Experiments on this website

579-Colours

An Early Feuillade Comedy

La fille du faux monnayeur
R: Louis Feuillade. P: Gaumont. Fr 1907
Print: EYE

Feuillade or Alice Guy? The Ciné-Tourist can help us to answer the question:

“This remarkable film, in English The Counterfeiter’s Daughter, was made in March 1907, just at the point where responsibility for Gaumont production passed from Alice Guy to Louis Feuillade. It has been attributed to both, but it does seem unlikely that Guy was making films only days before her marriage on March 6th 1907 (to Herbert Blaché Bolton – the couple left for the U.S. three days later). ​We can know that the film was shot that same week because in one scene there are on display outside a shop two Sunday supplements dated March 3rd 1907″:

574-The Counterfeiter's Daughter

>>> The Ciné-Tourist

Rollin S. Sturgeon (2)

A Wasted Sacrifice
R: Rollin S. Sturgeon. D: Robert Thornby, Charles Bennett, Roma Raymond, George Stanley. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1912
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

“With all his faults, Jack Martin, an Arizona gambler, has one redeeming quality, a deep love for his motherless child. The baby is taken sick. Leaving her with Aunt Jane, the Mexican housekeeper, Jack goes for Dr. Winton, who is also the sheriff. The child dies. Crazed with grief, Jack gets drunk and shoots the town marshal. Leaping astride his horse, he escapes into the desert. Far out on a sandy plain, he comes across the dead body of a young Apache squaw, who has been bitten by a rattlesnake. By the side of the lifeless form he finds a child who has nursed from its mother’s breast and imbibed the poison. Jack thinks of his own child, and his heart goes out to the little one. (…)”
Moving Picture World synopsis

At the End of the Trail
R: Rollin S. Sturgeon. D: George Stanley, Robert Thornby, Edna Fisher. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1912
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

“With a warrant for the arrest of Manuel Lopes, a notorious Mexican horse thief, the sheriff strikes his trail. He finds the desperado out in the desert, prostrated by thirst. He revives him with water from his own canteen, and placing the handcuffs on him, puts him under arrest. After regaining his strength, the Mexican treacherously pretends to be weak. The sheriff, little suspecting an attack, is struck down by his prisoner. He is left to face the death from which he has just rescued his assailant. The Mexican takes the key from the prostrate man’s pocket, and unlocking the handcuffs, places them upon the sheriff. (…)”
Moving Picture World synopsis

“Almost every production company produced westerns; they were cheap and popular. Vitagraph’s western unit had a small stock company and produced a lot of short films that would later become the sort of movie that fans would call B westerns; the villains were often Mexicans and the plots were simple and suitable for the short length of these movies.”
IMDb

Filmography Rollin S. Sturgeon

>>> Rollin S. Sturgeon (1)

>>> more Sturgeon films on this website: How States Are Made, The Craven, A Bit of Blue Ribbon, The Greater Love, The Courage of the Commonplace

Rollin S. Sturgeon (1)

Destiny is Changeless
R: Rollin S. Sturgeon. D: Lillian Christy, Tom Fortune, Robert Thornby. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1911/12
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

“While there are issues, like the fact that all Indians wear Comanche War head dresses, like many of the movies of this era, the chief point is the camera work. It’s very handsome work, abetted by color in every frame. This seems to have been accomplished by toning, in which the silver nitrate of the film was chemically replaced by related compounds, yielding strong blues and lavenders, adding a strong side key light. (…)  the camera techniques make this an interesting note in the evolution of film.”
IMDb

“If anything in this film is ironic, it might be the elaborate symmetry between the two halves of the plot. The bad guy becomes worse and worse, until he turns around and becomes more and more self-sacri- ficing and heroic. But I am more interested in the ironic potential of the filming itself. By making the movements so emphatically frontal, the viewer is told that this concerns her/him, but also, that this is a trick of representation. The film’s narrative is no longer told ‘in the third person,’ evolving on the screen out there, but comes rather aggressively at the viewer. With the close-up of the guilt-ridden convertee as the central moment, the moralizing nature of such recognizable plots is perhaps driven home a bit too emphatically to be credible. Yet, (…), there is no inherent reason to consider this film parodic.”
Nanna Verhoeff: The West in Early Cinema. After the Beginning. Amsterdam University Press 2006, p. 274

The Redemption of Red Rube
R: Rollin S. Sturgeon. D: Robert Thornby, George Stanley, Anne Schaefer, Eagle Eye. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1912
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

Rollin Summers Sturgeon (1877 – 1961) was an American film director of silent films,  active from 1910 to 1924. He directed 101 films during this period.
Revolvy

>>> Rollin S. Sturgeon (2)

>>> WESTERN

Gavroche

Gavroche peintre célèbre
R: Romeo Bosetti. D: Paul Bertho. P: Société Française des Films Éclair. Fr 1912
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

Gavroche veut faire un riche mariage
R: Romeo Bosetti. D: Paul Bertho. P: Société Française des Films Éclair. Fr 1912
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

“Gavroche is a fictional character in the 1862 novel ‘Les Misérables’ by Victor Hugo. He is a boy who lives on the streets of Paris. His name has become a synonym for an urchin or street child. (…) During the student uprising of June 5–6, 1832, Gavroche joins the revolutionaries at the barricade. (…) He goes through an opening in the barricade and collects the cartridges from the dead bodies of the National Guard. In the process of collecting the cartridges and singing a song, he is shot and killed.* The character of Gavroche may have been inspired by a figure in Eugène Delacroix’s painting ‘Liberty Leading the People’, which depicts the successful 1830 July Revolution, two years before the events described in the novel. The painting depicts revolutionaries advancing from a barricade over the bodies of government troops. A young boy waving pistols leads the way, beside the figure of Liberty herself carrying the tricolore. The boy carries a cartridge box over his shoulder. (…) The words of the song sung by Gavroche before his death are a parody of conservative views about the French Revolution: blaming all alleged modern social and moral ills on the influence of Voltaire and Rousseau. Gavroche sings “Joie est mon caractère / C’est la faute à Voltaire / Misère est mon trousseau / C’est la faute à Rousseau.” (I have a cheerful character / It’s Voltaire’s fault / Misery is my bridal gown / It’s Rousseau’s fault).”
Wikipedia

Gavroche vend des parapluies
R: Romeo Bosetti. D: Paul Bertho. P: Société Française des Films Éclair. Fr 1913
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

Gavroche et Casimir s’entraînent
R: Romeo Bosetti. D: Paul Bertho, Lucien Bataille. P: Société Française des Films Éclair. Fr 1913
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

* see Alice Guy’s film L’émeute sur la barricade

>>> more about the lion comedy in the early film industry: here on this site

Eleuterio Rodolfi

Il biglietto da mille
R: Eleuterio Rodolfi. D: Eleuterio Rodolfi, Mary Cléo Tarlarini. P: S. A. Ambrosio. It 1912
Print: Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino
German intertitles

“Mary Cleo Tarlanini and Eleuterio Rodolfi, favourites of the early Italian screens, are clandestine lovers. A ‘one thousand banknote’ passes from hand to hand, risking to reveal their affair. An example of mischievous comedy, a genre that Rodolfi often starred and sometimes directed.”
Museo Nazionale del Cinema

La meridiana del convento
R: Eleuterio Rodolfi. D: Gigetta Morano, Eleuterio Rodolfi, Ernesto Vaser. P:  S. A. Ambrosio. It 1916
Print: Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino

“Vaser, the painter, dressing up as an old man, manages to get the assignment of the restoration of the frescos of Santa Ingenua convent. Liliana, one of the young boarder, invites her friend Gigetta and her aunt to introduce them her brother, the lieutenant Giorgio. Gigetta and Giorgio fall in love, but an unexpected event impedes their wedding. During an open-air snack organized by the nuns and the boarders, Gigetta climbs a tree and the painter Vaser takes a risqué picture. A long series of vicissitudes begins in order to recover the compromising picture and the plate, involving, besides the convent, also the whole barracks and the commissioner of police. Happy ending: the plate is destroyed and Gigetta herself maliciously tears up the photograph without showing it to the public.”
Museo Nazionale del Cinema

Eleuterio Rodolfi (1876–1933) was an Italian actor, screenwriter and film director. He was a leading figure in Italian cinema during the silent era, directing over a hundred films including The Last Days of Pompeii (1913).
Selected filmography as director: The Last Days of Pompeii (1913),  Cenerentola (1913), Doctor Antonio (1914), Hamlet (1917), Maciste’s American Nephew (1924)
Revolvy

>>> Rodolfi as actor: Le nozze di Figaro

566-Rodolfi

Musician Stories

Fortunes of a Composer
R: Charles Kent. D: Charles Kent, Rose Tapley, Norma Talmadge, Edith Halleran, Wallace Reid. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1912
Print: EYE
Dutch titles

“Samuel Herman, a composer, in seeking recognition for fame and fortune, goes to Paris and takes a position in a small music hall, playing there at night and writing music during the day. His compositions do not find a market and disappointed and disheartened, he sends them to his wife and daughters in America, to be disposed of by them if possible. He loses his memory through an attack of aphasia. His wife and daughters dispose of his compositions for $100,000. They send word to their father to the address which he had given them, but no one knows what has become of him and so the letter is returned unclaimed with a report that the professor is dead. Two years afterwards Herman’s memory returns when he hears his music played upon the street and he determines, after he has fully recovered, to return to America. (…)”
Moving Picture World synopsis

The Musician’s Daughter
R: Jay Hunt. D: Grace Scott, William S. Rising, Roy Applegate, John G. Adolfi, Dorothy Gibson. P: Éclair American. USA 1911
Print: EYE
Dutch titles
Engl. subtitles

Dorothy Winifred Gibson, Titanic’ survivor
“Dorothy Winifred Gibson was born on May 7, 1889 to Pauline Boeson and John A. Brown in Hobroken, New Jersey. Her father died when she was three and her mother married John Leonard Gibson. Between 1906 and 1911 she was an actress and was even on the Broadway musical ‘Dairymaids’. (…) She had joined Cinematographes Éclair and was their number one star. Just a week before [the ‘Titanic’ sank], she had starred in a movie and was on a holiday in Paris, France. The company wired her telling her to come back because they had made a mistake with the film and accidentally damaged her part of the film. She booked passage and sailed on the ‘Titanic’ with her mother and had a cabin on E deck. She carried with her a few dozen pairs of gloves and a 300 dollar ear muff with jet black beads hanging down it. On the night of the sinking, she was playing a game of bridge with her new acquaintances, William Sloper and Fredrick Seward when the steward told them to stop because they were about to turn out the lights. She had just returned to her cabin when she felt a small bump. The bump was so small, that she ignored it and was just about to climb into her bed when her room steward came in, told her to dress warmly, and go up on deck. She put on a sweater and black slippers and went up with her mother. They were put into a lifeboat and then Dorothy dramatically convinced Seward and Sloper to come in as well. Her lifeboat had a small leak and it was swamped. They all had to sit there with their feet in the water and an allegedly French Baron hogging all the blankets. After they were rescued by the ‘Carpathia’, she slept for 26 hours straight. When she got to New York, she was told she was to be the star of the new movie, Saved from the Titanic. In the film, she wore the same clothing that she had when the ‘Titanic’ sank. Unfortunately, the film was lost in 1914 in a fire. She later divorced in 1916 and married Mr. Brulatour in 1915. They divorced in 1919 after Mr. Brulatour was accused of polygamy. She never remarried. She later moved to Paris where she remained. She was a Nazi sympathizer and was arrested in 1944. She escaped from jail and later died in her Paris hotel room of a heart attack on February 17, 1946 at the age of 56.”
Titanic Gazette

>>>  the ‘Titanic’ disaster on this site: Fiction and Newsreel

The Elegance of the Creature

An Otter Study
P: Kineto (Charles Urban). UK 1912
Print: BFI

“The secret haunts of the otter, including underwater scenes filmed in a tank concealed in a stream. Includes scenes of the preparation of the hide and the otter fishing for roach and pike, followed by the pursuit of the otter by men with hounds.”
Synopsis BFI Screenonline

“In this instance, a tank was concealed on the bed of the river and the cameraman was able to film from behind the glass. The reviewer from ‘The Bioscope’ was lavish in his praise and was moved to cite this film as an example of the revolutionary achievements of the cinematograph and as a ‘record-breaker’ in which we are able ‘to view life from an absolutely novel point of view’. (…) So, in a way, our ‘Bioscope’ reviewer is right to see this is a novel treatment of the subject, in which we delight at the elegance of the creature and begin to feel empathy for it.”
Bryony Dixon
BFI Screenonline

>>> about Charles Urban: Early Ethnography

>>> Nature / Science