Slapstick Summer Series: Vaudevillians | Robetta and Doretto, No. 2 (1895)

Short recording of 1890s vaudeville slapstick act, “Robetta and Doretto”, performing one of their routines (Chinese Laundry Scene). It’s funny that even in these plot-less few seconds we glimpse elements familiar from the earliest slapstick movies.

Slapstick Summer Series! – The Sprinkler Sprinkled (1895), 1st Movie Comedy

Though not slapstick, strictly-speaking, Lumière’s The Sprinkler Sprinkled (aka L’Arroseur Arrosé and The Waterer Watered) earns the starting spot in this summer series for three main reasons:

  1. It’s the 1st comedy film.
  2. What’s more Summer-y than sprinkling sprinklers?
  3. The film’s alliterative English name compliments the blog title.
Thus begins the Summer of Slapstick, which will contain the early shorts of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Mabel Normand, Fatty Arbuckle, Max Linder, Ford Sterling and the Keystone Cops, and other surprises.

1st Comedy Movie

The Sprinkler Sprinkled (1895) – Louis Lumiere

The 1st staged narrative and the 1st comedy, The Sprinkler Sprinkled (also known as L’Arroseur Arrosé and The Waterer Watered) was shot in Lyon in the spring of 1895.

The film portrays a simple practical joke in which a gardener is tormented by a boy who steps on the hose that the gardener is using to water his plants, cutting off the water flow. When the gardener tilts the nozzle up to inspect it, the boy releases the hose, causing the water to spray him. The gardener is stunned and his hat is knocked off, but he soon catches on. A chase ensues, both on and off-screen (the camera never moves from its original position) until the gardener catches the boy and administers a spanking. Louis Lumière used his own gardener, François Clerc, to portray the gardener.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0000014/

1st Projected Film

Exiting the Factory (1895) – Louis Lumiere

The 1st projected film, Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory in Lyon (also known as La Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon, Employees Leaving the Lumière Factory, and Exiting the Factory), was filmed by Louis Lumière using his Cinématographe, an all-in-one camera, which also serves as a film projector and developer. This film was shown in 1895 at the Grand Café on the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris, along with nine other short movies.

The film consists of a single scene in which workers leave the Lumiere factory. The workers are mostly female who exit the large building 25 rue St. Victor, Montplaisir on the outskirts of Lyon, France, as if they had just finished a day’s work.

Three separate versions of this film exist. There are a number of differences between these, for example the clothing style changes demonstrating the different seasons in which they were filmed. They are often referred to as the “one horse,” “two horses,” and “no horse” versions, in reference to a horse-drawn carriage that appears in the first two versions (pulled by one horse in the original and two horses in the first remake).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0000010/

1st Hand-Tinted Movie

Annabelle Serpentine Dance (1895) – William K.L. Dickson

The 1st hand tinted movie, Annabelle Serpentine Dance, was filmed in Edison’s Black Maria Studios. Annabelle Moore, a young dancer from Broadway, is dressed in white veils that appear to change colors as she dances.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0154152/

1st Film Edit

The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots (1895) – Alfred Clark

The 1st edit within a film, and also used for the purpose of a stop-motion effect. The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots shows a blindfolded Mary being led to the execution block. The executioner raises his axe and an edit occurs during which the actress is replaced by a mannequin. The mannequin’s head is chopped off and the executioner holds it in the air as the film ends.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0132134/