Auguste and Louis Lumière

The Lumière brothers (UK: /ˈluːmiɛər/, US: /ˌluːmiˈɛər/; French: [lymjɛːʁ]), Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas ([oɡyst maʁi lwi nikɔla]; 19 October 1862 – 10 April 1954) and Louis Jean ([lwi ʒɑ̃]; 5 October 1864 – 7 June 1948),[1][2] were among the first filmmakers in history. They patented an improved cinematograph, which in contrast to Thomas Edison's "peepshow" kinetoscope allowed simultaneous viewing by multiple parties.

Auguste and Louis Lumière
Fratelli Lumiere
The inventors of the moving picture
Born
  • Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas Lumière
  • Louis Jean Lumière

  • Auguste: 19 October 1862
  • Louis: 5 October 1864

Died
  • Auguste: 10 April 1954 (aged 91)
  • Louis: 6 June 1948 (aged 83)

Resting placeNew Guillotière Cemetery (location A6)
Alma materLa Martiniere Lyon
Occupation
Parent(s)
  • Charles-Antoine Lumière (1840–1911)
  • Jeanne Joséphine Costille Lumière (1841–1915)
AwardsElliott Cresson Medal (1909)

History

The Lumière brothers were born in Besançon, France, to Charles-Antoine Lumière (1840–1913)[3] and Jeanne Joséphine Costille Lumière, who were married in 1861 and moved to Besançon, setting up a small photographic portrait studio where Auguste and Louis were born. They moved to Lyon in 1870, where son Edouard and three daughters were born. Auguste and Louis both attended La Martiniere, the largest technical school in Lyon.[4] Their father Charles-Antoine set up a small factory producing photographic plates, but even with Louis and a young sister working from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. it teetered on the verge of bankruptcy, and by 1882 it looked as if they would fail, but when Auguste returned from military service the boys designed the machines necessary to automate their father's plate production and devised a very successful new photo plate, 'etiquettes bleue', and by 1884 the factory employed a dozen workers.

Institut Lumière - CINEMATOGRAPHE Camera
Cinématographe Lumière at the Institut Lumière, France

When their father retired in 1892 the brothers began to create moving pictures. They patented several significant processes leading up to their film camera, most notably film perforations (originally implemented by Emile Reynaud) as a means of advancing the film through the camera and projector. The original cinématographe had been patented by Léon Guillaume Bouly on 12 February 1892.[5] The brothers patented their own version on 13 February 1895.[6] The first footage ever to be recorded using it was recorded on 19 March 1895. This first film shows workers leaving the Lumière factory.

The Lumière brothers saw film as a novelty and had withdrawn from the film business in 1905. They went on to develop the first practical photographic colour process, the Lumière Autochrome.

Tombe des frères Lumière
Tomb of the Lumière brothers in the New Guillotière Cemetery in Lyon

Louis died on 6 June 1948 and Auguste on 10 April 1954. They are buried in a family tomb in the New Guillotière Cemetery in Lyon.

First film screenings

The Lumières held their first private screening of projected motion pictures in 1895. This first screening on 22 March 1895 took place in Paris, at the "Society for the Development of the National Industry", in front of an audience of 200 people – among which Léon Gaumont, then director of the company the Comptoir géneral de la photographie. The main focus of this conference by Louis Lumière were the recent developments in the photograph industry, mainly the research on polychromy (colour photography). It was much to Lumière's surprise that the moving black-and-white images retained more attention than the coloured stills photographs.[7] The American Woodville Latham had screened works of film 2 months later on 20 May 1895.[8] The first public screening of films at which admission was charged was a program by the Skladanowsky brothers that was held on 1 November 1895, in Berlin.[9]

The Lumières gave their first paid public screening on 28 December 1895, at Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris.[10] This history-making presentation featured 10 short films, including their first film, Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory).[11]

Lumières La Sortie de l'Usine Lumière à Lyon 1895
Lumières La Sortie de l'Usine Lumière à Lyon 1895

Each film is 17 meters long, which, when hand cranked through a projector, runs approximately 50 seconds.

Cinématographe Lumière
The world's first film poster, for 1895's L'Arroseur arrosé

It is believed their first film was recorded that same year (1895) with Léon Bouly's cinématographe device, which was patented the previous year. The date of the recording of their first film is in dispute. In an interview with Georges Sadoul given in 1948, Louis Lumière tells that he shot the film in August 1894. This is questioned by historians (Sadoul, Pinel, Chardère) who consider that a functional Lumière camera didn't exist before the end of 1894, and that their first film was recorded 19 March 1895, and then publicly projected 22 March at the Société d'encouragement pour l'industrie nationale in Paris. The cinématographe — a three-in-one device that could record, develop, and project motion pictures — was further developed by the Lumières.[12]

The public debut at the Grand Café came a few months later and consisted of the following 10 short films (in order of presentation):[13]

  1. La Sortie de l'Usine Lumière à Lyon (literally, "the exit from the Lumière factory in Lyon", or, under its more common English title, Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory), 46 seconds
  2. Le Jardinier (l'Arroseur Arrosé) ("The Gardener", or "The Sprinkler Sprinkled"), 49 seconds
  3. Le Débarquement du Congrès de Photographie à Lyon ("the disembarkment of the Congress of Photographers in Lyon"), 48 seconds
  4. La Voltige ("Horse Trick Riders"), 46 seconds
  5. La Pêche aux poissons rouges ("fishing for goldfish"), 42 seconds
  6. Les Forgerons ("Blacksmiths"), 49 seconds
  7. Repas de bébé ("Baby's Breakfast" (lit. "baby's meal")), 41 seconds
  8. Le Saut à la couverture ("Jumping Onto the Blanket"), 41 seconds
  9. La Places des Cordeliers à Lyon ("Cordeliers Square in Lyon"—a street scene), 44 seconds
  10. La Mer (Baignade en mer) ("the sea [bathing in the sea]"), 38 seconds

The Lumières went on tour with the cinématographe in 1896, visiting Brussels (the first place a film was played outside Paris on the Galleries Saint-Hubert on 1 March 1896), Bombay, London, Montreal, New York City and Buenos Aires.

In 1896, only a few months after the initial screenings in Europe, films by the Lumiere Brothers were shown in Egypt, first in the Tousson stock exchange in Alexandria on 5 November 1896 and then in the Hamam Schneider (Schneider Bath) in Cairo.[14][15]

The moving images had an immediate and significant influence on popular culture with L'Arrivée d'un Train en Gare de la Ciotat (literally, "the arrival of a train at La Ciotat", but more commonly known as Arrival of a Train at a Station) and Carmaux, défournage du coke (Drawing out the coke). Their actuality films, or actualités, are often cited as the first, primitive documentaries. They also made the first steps towards comedy film with the slapstick of L'Arroseur Arrosé.

Early colour photography

LumiereAlgerijnen
Autochrome colour picture by Jean-Baptiste Tournassoud of North-African soldiers, Oise, France, 1917.

The brothers stated that "the cinema is an invention without any future" and declined to sell their camera to other filmmakers such as Georges Méliès. This made many film makers upset. Consequently, their role in the history of film was exceedingly brief. In parallel with their cinema work they experimented with colour photography. They worked on a number of colour photographic processes in the 1890s including the Lippmann process (interference heliochromy) and their own 'bichromated glue' process,[16] a subtractive colour process, examples of which were exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. This last process was commercialised by the Lumieres but commercial success had to wait for their next colour process. In 1903 they patented a colour photographic process, the Autochrome Lumière, which was launched on the market in 1907.[17] Throughout much of the 20th century, the Lumière company was a major producer of photographic products in Europe, but the brand name, Lumière, disappeared from the marketplace following merger with Ilford.[18] They also invented the colour plate, which really got photography on the road.

Other early cinematographers

The Lumière Brothers were not the only ones to claim the title of the first cinematographers. The scientific chronophotography devices developed by Eadweard Muybridge, Étienne-Jules Marey and Ottomar Anschütz in the 1880s were able to produce moving photographs, and William Friese-Greene's "machine camera", patented in 1889, did so on a strip of film.[19] Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope (developed by William Kennedy Dickson), premiered publicly in 1894.[20]

Since 1892, the projected drawings of Émile Reynaud's Théâtre Optique were attracting Paris crowds to the Musée Grévin. Louis Le Prince and Claude Mechant had been shooting moving picture sequences on paper film as soon as 1888, but had never performed a public demonstration. Polish inventor, Kazimierz Prószyński had built his camera and projecting device, called Pleograph, in 1894. Max and Emil Skladanowsky, inventors of the Bioscop, had offered projected moving images to a paying public one month earlier (1 November 1895, in Berlin). Nevertheless, film historians consider the Grand Café screening to be the true birth of the cinema as a commercial medium, because the Skladanowsky brothers' screening used an extremely impractical dual system motion picture projector that was immediately supplanted by the Lumiere cinematographe.[21]

Although the Lumière brothers were not the first inventors to develop techniques to create motion pictures, they are often credited as among the first inventors of the technology for cinema as a mass medium, and are among the first who understood how to use it.

See also

Lumière House Lyon
Their house in Lyon is now the Institut Lumière museum.

References

Notes

  1. ^ "Louis Lumière, 83, A Screen Pioneer. Credited in France With The Invention of Motion Picture". The New York Times. 7 June 1948. Retrieved 29 April 2008.
  2. ^ "Died". Time. 14 June 1948. Retrieved 29 April 2008. Louis Lumière, 83, wealthy motion-picture and colour-photography pioneer, whom (with his brother Auguste) Europeans generally credit with inventing the cinema; of a heart ailment; in Bandol, France.
  3. ^ "Who's Who of Victorian Cinema". www.victorian-cinema.net. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  4. ^ Gina De Angelis (2003). Motion Pictures. The Oliver Press. ISBN 978-1-881508-78-6.
  5. ^ "Brevet FR 219.350". Cinematographes. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Brevet FR 245.032". Cinematographes. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  7. ^ Chardère 1985, p. 71.
  8. ^ Burns, Paul. "1895 Major Woodville Latham (1838–1911)". precinemahistory.net, October 1999. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Who's Who of Victorian Cinema". www.victorian-cinema.net. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  10. ^ 28 December 1895.
  11. ^ "La première séance publique payante", Institut Lumière Archived 12 September 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Chardère 1987, p. 70.
  13. ^ "Bienvenue sur Adobe GoLive 4". Institut-lumiere.org, 12 September 2005. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  14. ^ Leaman, Oliver (16 December 2003). Companion Encyclopedia of Middle Eastern and North African Film. Routledge. ISBN 9781134662524.
  15. ^ "Alexandria, Why? (The Beginnings of the Cinema Industry in Alexandria)". Bibliotheca Alexandrina's AlexCinema.
  16. ^ "Lumiere Trichrome". ignomini.com. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  17. ^ Lavédrine and Gandolfo 2013, p. 70.
  18. ^ "City of Lyon Document". sdx.rhonealpes.fr. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  19. ^ "William Friese-Greene". www.victorian-cinema.net. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  20. ^ "Chronology of Film Shows pre-1896". www.victorian-cinema.net. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  21. ^ Cook 2004, p. 34.

Bibliography

  • Chardère, B. Les images des Lumière (in French). Paris: Gallimard, 1995. ISBN 2-07-011462-7.
  • Chardère, B., G. Borgé, G. and M. Borge. Les Lumière (in French). Paris: Bibliothèque des Arts, 1985. ISBN 2-85047-068-6.
  • Cook, David. A History of Narrative Film (4th ed.). New York: W. W. Norton, 2004. ISBN 0-393-97868-0.
  • Lavédrine, Bertrand and Jean-Paul Gandolfo. The Lumière Autochrome: History, Technology, and Preservation. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2013. ISBN 978-1-60606-125-1.
  • Mast, Gerald and Bruce F. Kawin. A Short History of the Movies (9th ed.). New York: Pearson Longman, 2006. ISBN 0-321-26232-8.
  • Rittaud-Hutinet, Jacques. Le cinéma des origines (in French). Seyssel, France: Champ Vallon, 1985. ISBN 2-903528-43-8.

External links

775 Lumière

775 Lumière is a minor planet orbiting the Sun. The apparent magnitude is 10.40. The diameter is 33.58 kilometers. Its rotational period is 6.103 hours, and the albedo is .108. The name honors Auguste and Louis Lumiere and the company making photographic film for astronomers in France.

Barque sortant du port

Barque sortant du port (also known as Boat Leaving the Port) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent film directed and produced by Louis Lumière.

The film consists of a single shot of a boat leaving the port, being rowed into rough seas by three men. This scene is observed by two women and children who are standing on a nearby jetty.

Bataille de boules de neige

Bataille de boules de neige (also known as Snowball Fight) is an 1896 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière.

Carmaux, défournage du coke

Carmaux, défournage du coke (translated as Drawing Out the coke) is a film made in 1896 by Lumière. The location was the Saut-du-Tarn Steel Works at Carmaux, France near the Tarn River in southern France. It is a one-minute sequence of men lifting a large coal block out of a smelter. One man is spraying water to cool the block while others use rakes to spread it out. Others can be seen pushing coal carts along a track.

Cinematograph

A cinematograph is a motion picture film camera, which also serves as a film projector and printer. It was invented in the 1890s in Lyon by Auguste and Louis Lumière.

Démolition d'un mur

Démolition d'un mur (Demolition of a wall) is a 1895 French short black-and-white silent film directed and produced by Louis Lumière and starring his brother Auguste Lumière, along with two other men.

Institut Lumière

The Institut Lumière (pronounced [ɛ̃s.ti.ty ly.mjɛːʁ]; "Lumière Institute") is a French organisation, based in Lyon, for the promotion and preservation of aspects of French film making. The Institut Lumière is a museum that honours the contribution to filmmaking by Auguste and Louis Lumière - inventors of the cinématographe and fathers of the cinema.

It was founded in 1982 by Bernard Chardère and Maurice Trarieux-Lumière, the grandson of Louis Lumière. Bertrand Tavernier is its president and Thierry Frémaux is its director. The museum is located within the house of the Lumière family, in the Monplaisir quarter of Lyon. The film La Sortie de l'usine Lumière à Lyon, one of the earliest motion pictures ever made, was shot in the immediate vicinity of the Institut.

The rehabilitation of the former Lumière factories was confided to the architect Pierre Colboc and the Chief architect of historic monuments Didier Repellin, associated with the agency dUCKS Scéno for the scenography of the cinema and the outer spaces.

La Mer (film)

La Mer (also known as The Sea) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière. Given its age, this short film is available to freely download from the Internet.

The film formed part of the first commercial presentation of the Lumière Cinématographe on December 28, 1895 at the Salon Indien, Grand Café, 14 Boulevard des Capuchins, Paris.

La Pêche aux poissons rouges

Pêche aux poissons rouges is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière. It was filmed in Lyon, Rhône, Rhône-Alpes, France. Given its age, this short film is available to freely download from the Internet.

The film formed part of the first commercial presentation of the Lumière Cinématographe on 28 December 1895 at the Salon Indien, Grand Café, 14 Boulevard des Capuchins, Paris.

La Voltige

La Voltige (also known as Horse Trick Riders) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière. It was filmed in Lyon, Rhône, Rhône-Alpes, France. Given its age, this short film is available to freely download from the Internet.

The film formed part of the first commercial presentation of the Lumière Cinématographe on December 28, 1895 at the Salon Indien, Grand Café, 14 Boulevard des Capuchins, Paris.

Le Saut à la couverture

Le Saut à la couverture (also known as Brimade dans une caserne) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière.

The film formed part of the first commercial presentation of the Lumière Cinématographe on 28 December 1895 at the Salon Indien, Grand Café, 14 Boulevard des Capuchins, Paris.

Les Forgerons

Les Forgerons (also known as The Blacksmiths) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière. Given its age, this short film is available to freely download from the Internet.

The film formed part of the first commercial presentation of the Lumière Cinématographe on 28 December 1895 at the Salon Indien, Grand Café, 14 Boulevard des Capuchins, Paris.

Louis Lumière / conversation avec Langlois et Renoir

Louis Lumière is a 66 minute filmed conversation between Henri Langlois, founder and director of La Cinémathèque Française, and the film director Jean Renoir. It was directed by Éric Rohmer in 1968.

Lumière Film Festival

The Lumière Film Festival is an annual film festival held each October in Lyon Metropolis, France since 2009. The festival is named in honor of the Lumière Brothers, who invented the Cinematography in Lyon in 1895, and is organized by the Institut Lumière.

The festival focuses on the history of cinema with the line-up dedicated to the works of the past through restored prints, retrospectives and tributes. The Lumière Award (Prix Lumière), an award that recognizes the achievement and contributions of an international film personality, is also presented annually at the festival.

Partie de cartes

Partie de cartes (also known as Card Game and The Messers. Lumière at Cards (USA), or A Quiet Game of Écarté) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent film directed and produced by Louis Lumière and starring Antoine Féraud.

Place des Cordeliers à Lyon

Place des Cordeliers à Lyon (also known as Cordeliers' Square in Lyon) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière.

The film formed part of the first commercial presentation of the Lumière Cinématographe on 28 December 1895 at the Salon Indien, Grand Café, 14 Boulevard des Capuchins, Paris.

Procession at Seville and bullfighting scenes

Procession at Seville and bullfighting Scenes is a non-fiction short film created by Auguste and Louis Lumière between 1898 and 1899. The Lumière brothers used a cinematograph to film this motion picture in Seville, Spain.

Repas de bébé

Le Repas de Bébé (also known as Baby's Dinner and Feeding the Baby) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière and starring Andrée Lumière.

The film formed part of the first commercial presentation of the Lumière Cinématographe on December 28, 1895 at the Salon Indien, Grand Café, 14 Boulevard des Capucines, Paris.

Serpentine dance

The serpentine dance is a form of dance that was popular throughout the United States and Europe in the 1890s, becoming a staple of stage shows and early film.

Auguste and Louis Lumière
Films
Inventions

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