This session should...
• Make you start to think about a range of
issues in Film Studies
• Give you a basic historical understanding of
the beginnings of Cinema
• Allow you to see the birth and growth of
cinematic language and think about this in
relation to more recent ﬁlms
What are Moving Pictures?
“Photography is truth.
Cinema is truth 24 times a second.”
Film cameras take photographs in
very quick succession - originally at
16 frames per second. 24 fps
became standard in the 1920s
Our eyes can’t cope. Persistence of
Vision kicks in and instead of seeing
individual still images we think
we’re seeing moving images.
Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory
(Lumiere Brothers, France, 1895)
The ﬁrst ﬁlm to be projected and shown in public to a paying
audience - the ﬁrst piece of Cinema
What key elements of film language can
you see in the film?
* Mise en Scene?
... and yes, Cinema is French.
Not quite so early film
• The Great Train Robbery (Porter, USA, 1903)
• Watch and answer the following questions...
1. What is the genre of this film? How do you know?
2. How have things moved on since the Lumiere film?
3. What cinematic language is there in this film that you recognise form
4. What is still missing from this that you expect to see in modern films?
You should now...
• Have an idea about the early years of
• Be able to identify cinematic techniques,
even in very simple ﬁlms
• Be able to identify the development of
storytelling in early cinema