Lumiere Brothers

February 1, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

The first film ever made is attributed to the Lumiere Brothers, who made this 1895 short entitled “Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory.” What I think is interesting about this is how the beginning of film is tied to the image of human production. As the title suggests, the silent, moving-snap shot depicts a slew of employees leaving their place of work, namely the factory belonging to the filmmakers. In one sense, it’s democratic, the thing that all of these people have in common is their apparent enthusiasm to get on to the next stages of their day–their excitement seems to point at the lives they lead outside of work. Lives which are nevertheless inconsequent save that they exist outside of the frame, as a means of legitimizing the frame we see. Their personal lives give each person a motivation. They are aware of the camera; the subjects are comprised of men and women and dogs. An idealized set of workers.

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