14 February 2012 by Tortola Tailspin
The first films created by the Lumière brothers were made to study what could be captured on film. The subjects of their films were the citizens of France and what they did in their day-to-day lives. The Lumière brothers filmed the people of the working class, the elites, family life, and modes of transportation (boats and trains). Their films not only became a medium to study French culture and life, but would soon become a medium for entertainment. Their study of French life through film made way for filmed entertainment, as in comedy movies and , later on, animated cartoons.
I have found two films created by the Lumière brothers that reflect slap-stick comedy. The first film is called “La Voltige”(1) (The Aerobatic) (2) created in 1895(3):
It can be seen in the film that the man in white is encouraged by the man in the dark uniform to try to get on the horse. The film becomes entertaining when the man in white tries not to get on the horse and jumps over it, getting the man in the dark uniform upset. The man in the dark uniform eventually gets frustrated to the point that he shows some gestures of anger.
Also created in 1895 is the second film is called “ Le Saut á la Couverture” (4) (The Jump in the Blanket)(5):
Here, the same man in white is now encouraged to jump in a blanket by the man in the dark uniform, but fails to do so a couple of times. The film becomes entertaining when the man in white falls off the blanket in a comical matter, but this only gets the man in the dark uniform angry again. He hits the man in white in the back of head and gives him a kick at some point.
These early slap-stick comedy films would soon be noticed and usher in a new form of entertainment that would be appreciated by all. Slap-stick films, like those of Charlie Chaplin, will become a mainstay in theaters and inspire future comedy movies and actors. Early animated cartoons were also inspired from these films, creating memorable characters, funny jokes and gags, and wild stories. We would not see the comedy film and cartoons we see today if not for the Lumière brothers and their study of what could be captured on film.
(2),(5) Google Translate