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Added by johanlefourbe on 5 Feb 2020 04:10

1001 Movies ... my own version (1900's)

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People who added this item 97 Average listal rating (73 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.1

Notes: It is probably the oldest movie I have seen so far. Well, I really enjoyed the damned thing, that’s for sure. Indeed, even though it was basically only a static shot of 2 mins, it’s incredible how much Méliès managed to achieve with the technology available at the time. Of course, in 2 mins, there was no way he could develop a plot but it didn’t really matter. Indeed, it was still fine anyway and, instead, he gave us such a completely daft scene involving Méliès himself playing some mad scientist blowing up the head of some random guy, of course, played by Méliès himself as well. Eventually, the damned thing was probably not as ambitious or complex as ‘Le voyage dans la lune’ was but it was still seriously awesome. Eventually, beside the real neat special effects for the time period, Méliès had obviously so much fun, it was just seriously contagious, and, even if it was all so short, it was also really entertaining.
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People who added this item 1300 Average listal rating (775 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.2

Notes: It’s another movie I should definitely rewatch at some point. Well, if you might have some doubts regarding the fact if ‘The Great Train Robbery’ is amazing or not, there is absolutely no doubt that this is little short from Georges Méliès was and still is pretty awesome. Indeed, Méliès was pretty much the inventor of the special effects but, with this movie, probably without being really aware of it, he also delivered the first Science-Fiction flick and also the first animated feature. Of course, you might argue that the whole thing was pretty messy but it is also part of its charm and, above all, the fantasy and imagination displayed was just terribly inspiring. Eventually, it’s a shame Méliès didn’t get much praise when he was alive but there is no denying that the guy was one of the greatest masters in this Art which was pretty much in its infancy at the time.
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People who added this item 112 Average listal rating (71 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.3

Notes: In fact, the day before, I actually watched ‘Rescued by Rover’ which was also directed by Cecil M. Hepworth and while ‘Rescued by Rover’ surprised me by its simplicity, I was amazed by how complex this movie turned out to be, at least, for a vintage feature made 120 years ago. It is mostly famous for being the very first adaptation of this iconic tale and I was wondering how they could tell this story in less than 10 mins (in fact, there is only one copy left of this movie and it is apparently missing some parts). Well, the end-result turned out to be some kind of supercut, jumping from one famous scene to another. To be honest, the damned thing was actually borderline incomprehensible, especially if you are not familiar with this story, and yet, I thought it was quite fascinating somehow. Indeed, the sheer ambition, especially considering the technical limitations back then, was just so inspiring and most of it was actually visually pretty neat.
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People who added this item 62 Average listal rating (50 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.4

Notes: To be honest, I still wonder what this first scene was all about. From a technical point of view, considering how old this movie is, it was pretty neat but I’m not sure what it was supposed to mean after all. Anyway, coming back on the movie itself, the end-result turned out to be some kind of hybrid feature. Indeed, since there was no plot, it wasn’t a fiction but, since everything was staged, I’m not sure if it should be considered as a documentary either (it probably is though). Especially when these firemen went to this house to put out this fire, it looked so fake. It’s too bad they didn’t go for something bigger regarding this fire but you should probably lower your expectations after watching for decades some massive Hollywood blockbusters with complex special effects which obviously didn't exist at the time. It was also rather funny to see a seemingly endless succession of vintage fire trucks driving in the streets when it turned out to be such a small fire after all.
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People who added this item 505 Average listal rating (324 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.3

Notes: To be honest, it has been a while since I saw this flick and maybe I should re-watch it at some point. Sure, it might not seem to be anything really mind-blowing if you would compare it to something coming out nowadays (after all, it is a very short movie done with a $150 budget only) but the damned thing was actually seriously groundbreaking when it was released. Indeed, even if the story was very basic, it is still considered as one of the very first movies with some kind of plot. Anyway, it must have been priceless to be in the movie theatre when this cowboy started to shoot the audience as many people went apesh*t since they had never experienced anything like this before.
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Notes: Sure, it might all seem quite rudimentary but you have to keep in mind that, at the time, all the basic rules and techniques of filmmaking didn't exist yet so they had to experiment and figure out pretty much everything on the spot. In this case, there was no real plot but I was surprised by how much they managed to tell in just 4 mins. Eventually, the thing I enjoyed the most was Laura Bayley's hilarious performance. Indeed, way before Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton, this woman came up with some amazing slapstick comedy, of course, with no sound or dialogues at the time. Furthermore, even though the jokes were funny enough, they also added some nifty visual tricks. To round it up, they concluded with a fairly dark but still funny ending which worked fine as well. To conclude, it was probably too short to become really amazing but, as one of the first comedies (maybe the very first one?), it was still pretty neat.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 29 Average listal rating (23 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.6

Notes: Unfortunately, the version I saw on YouTube was pretty nasty but it’s understandable since this movie is now more than 100 years old. Sure, it might all seem quite rudimentary but it was in fact at the time a big box office success and I can understand why. Indeed, it was probably one of the first movies with an actual plot and, in spite of its sheer simplicity or actually because of it, it worked surprisingly well. It’s also important to note that, even though it might look easy when you watch this movie, working with animals is usually considered as one of the hardest things when you make a movie. Anyway, this dog was pretty awesome and you wish they could have developed more the characters involved but, with a running time under 10 mins and no dialogues or title cards, I guess you shouldn’t expect much in this area.
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Notes: In fact, I think it must be the oldest documentary I have ever seen. Sure, I saw ‘Life of an American Fireman’ not long ago which was even older but so much of it was obviously staged, I’m not sure if you should really consider it as a documentary. However, in this case, you really fell like you have been dropped in a factory more than hundred years ago and, as far as I was concerned, for some reason, I thought it was quite mesmerizing to watch somehow. Indeed, you get to see the industrial revolution in its full glory and I thought it was quite interesting to see, in spite of all these fancy steam machines, how much people were still needed at the time to do some repetitive (and seemingly really boring) manual labor. Of course, at the time, nobody had any issue to have some kids involved as well. The main critic about this movie was the fact that a biscuit factory was extremely dull to watch but, while I would have to agree, I actually did appreciate that they focused on such a basic and decidedly not fancy establishment as you got a good taste of what it must have been for the folks doing this kind of jobs at the time.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 95 Average listal rating (67 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.9
A Fantasy (1908)

Notes: If you are interested in film story, this movie is pretty much a must-see. Indeed, it’s usually considered as the very first animated feature and I have to admit that I was actually quite impressed by the damned thing. Sure, it might seem rather rudimentary with its black background and these simple stick figures drawn with some white lines but, in fact, I thought the animation was actually quite sophisticated, especially since it was such a precursor in this genre. The other really interesting aspect with this movie was how wild it was from a narrative point of view. Indeed, even though some viewers pointed out that there was some kind of plot, Émile Cohl, who probably made the whole thing himself on his own, certainly didn’t stick it to it. Instead, it goes from one random thing to another random thing every few seconds and the end-result was quite spellbinding to behold. Eventually, even though a running time of less than 2 mins might seem to be super short, it was actually perfect for this material and I don’t think it would really work if you would extend it. Anyway, it is really neat that, back in those days, they could come up with something so experimental and the damned thing is therefore definitely worth a look.
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