Max Skladanowsky

Max Skladanowsky (30 April 1863 – 30 November 1939) was a German inventor and early filmmaker. Along with his brother Emil, he invented the Bioscop, an early movie projector the Skladanowsky brothers used to display the first moving picture show to a paying audience on 1 November 1895, shortly before the public debut of the Lumière Brothers' Cinématographe in Paris on 28 December 1895.

Skladanowsky brothers
Max and Emil Skladanowsky in front of a projection screen

Life

Bioscop
1895 poster for Bioscop screenings

Born in Pankow near Berlin to a glazier, Max Skladanowsky was apprenticed as a photographer and glass painter, which led to an interest in magic lanterns. In 1879, he began to tour Germany and Central Europe with his father Carl and elder brother Emil, giving dissolving magic lantern shows. In the early 1890s he built a film camera along with Emil, and in 1895 the brothers produced the Bioscop. The Bioscop, which was inspired by magic-lantern technology, used two loops of 54mm film, one frame being projected alternately from each. This made it possible for the Bioscop to project at 16 frames per second, a speed sufficient to create the illusion of movement.

A demonstration of the Bioscop in Pankow, Berlin in July 1895 was witnessed by the directors of the Wintergarten music hall who contracted Skladanowsky for a sum of 2500 Goldmark to present his invention as the final act in a variety performance commencing on 1 November 1895. The show was advertised as "the most interesting invention of the modern age" and played to capacity crowds for around four weeks. The show itself consisted of a number of very short films of arounds six seconds each which were rear-projected and repeated a number of times to a specially composed musical accompaniment.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R96755, Max und Eugen Skladanowsky
Max Skladanowsky (right) in 1934 with his brother Eugen and the Bioscop

Skladanowsky's invention was booked to play the Folies Bergère in Paris from January 1896, but after the Lumière Brothers unveiled their technically superior Cinématographe show in December 1895, his contract was cancelled. Skladanowsky witnessed a performance of the Cinématographe and continued to make technical improvements to his projector and camera, touring Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia throughout 1896, presenting his last show in Stettin on 30 March 1897. These later shows used a more sophisticated system with a single band of film and a geneva drive mechanism, but Skladanowsky had to stop exhibiting as the authorities refused to renew his trade licence as "too many film licences were already in circulation"

After this Skladanowsky returned to his former photographic activities including the production of flip books and further magic lantern shows. He also sold amateur film cameras and projectors and produced 3-D anaglyph image slides. His company Projektion für Alle also produced a number of films in the early 20th century, some directed by Eugen, his younger brother, but with little success. In his later years Skladanowsky was accused in the press of exaggerating his role in the early days of cinema, most notably by the pioneering cameraman Guido Seeber.

Legacy

Between the years 1895 and 1905, the brothers directed at least 25 to 30 short movies.[1] In 1995, the German filmmaker Wim Wenders directed a drama documentary film Die Gebrüder Skladanowsky in collaboration with students of the Munich Academy for Television and Film in which Max Skladanowsky was played by Udo Kier.[2]

Filmography

Komisches Reck (1895)
Jongleur (1895)
Kamarinskaja (1895)
Ringkämpfer (1895)
Komische Begenung im Tiergarten zu Stockholm (1896)
  • 1895 : Bauerntanz zweier Kinder
  • 1895 : Komisches Reck
  • 1895 : Die Serpentintänzerin
  • 1895 : Jongleur
  • 1895 : Das Boxende Känguruh
  • 1895 : Akrobatisches Potpourri
  • 1895 : Kamarinskaja
  • 1895 : Ringkämpfer
  • 1895 : Apotheose
  • 1896 : Unter den Linden
  • 1896 : Nicht mehr allein
  • 1896 : Mit Ablösung der Wache
  • 1896 : Lustige Gesellschaft vor dem Tivoli in Kopenhagen
  • 1896 : Leben und Treiben am Alexanderplatz
  • 1896 : Komische Begenung im Tiergarten zu Stockholm
  • 1896 : Ausfahrt nach dem Alarm
  • 1896 : Ankunft eines Eisenbahnzuges
  • 1896 : Alarm der Feuerwehr
  • 1896 : Die Wachtparade
  • 1897 : Am Bollwerk in Stettin
  • 1897 : Apotheose II
  • 1897 : Am Bollwerk
  • 1900 : Eine Moderne Jungfrau von Orleans
  • 1905 : Eine Fliegenjagd oder Die Rache der Frau Schultze

See also

References

  1. ^ IMDB entry
  2. ^ Gebrüder Skladanowsky, Die (1995) on IMDb
  • Max Skladanowsky at Who's Who of Victorian Cinema
  • Castan, Joachim. Max Skladanowsky oder der Beginn einer deutschen Filmgeschichte, Stuttgart, 1995. ISBN 3-9803451-3-0. Standard work about Skladanowsky - exciting and profound. It's a pity that there's no English translation.
  • Rossell, Deac. Who's Who of Victorian Cinema: Max Skladanowsky. Retrieved May 19, 2006.
  • Burns, Paul. The History of the Discovery of Cinematography An Illustrated Chronology

External links

1890s in film

The decade of the 1890s in film involved some significant events.

1892 in film

The following is an overview of the events of 1892 in film, including a list of films released and notable births.

1895 in film

The following is an overview of the events of 1895 in film, including a list of films released and notable births.

1900 in film

The year 1900 in film involved some significant events.

1930 in Germany

Events in the year 1930 in Germany.

A Trick of Light

A Trick of Light is a 1995 German film directed by Wim Wenders. Its original German title is Die Gebrüder Skladanowsky, the film made with the students of the Munich Film Academy is a combination of docudrama, fictional reenactment, and experimental photography to show the birth of cinema in Berlin where Max Skladanowsky and his brother Emil built a projector they called the Bioscop.

Akrobatisches Potpourri

Akrobatisches Potpourri (also known as Gymnastikerfamilie Grunato) is an 1895 German short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Max and Emil Skladanowsky and starring the Grunato family. It is one of the first German produced films.Filmed in the park of the Berlin-Moabit Public Theatre this short film shows the balancing act performance of this family of 8 performers.It was one of a series of films produced to be projected by a magic lantern and formed part of the Wintergarten Performances, the first projections of film in Europe to a paying audience. The film titles for the initial program were: Italienischer Bauerntanz, Komisches Reck, Serpentinen Tanz, Der Jongleur Paul Petras, Das Boxende Känguruh, Akrobatisches Potpourri, Kamarinskaja, Ringkampf, and Apotheose. Each film lasted approximately six seconds and would be repeated several times.

Bauerntanz zweier Kinder

Bauerntanz zweier Kinder (also known as Italienischer Bauerntanz or Italian Folk dance) is an 1895 German short black-and-white silent documentary film directed by Max Skladanowsky. The film captures two children from Ploetz-Lorello, performing a dance.It was one of a series of films produced to be projected by a magic lantern and formed part of the Wintergarten Performances, the first projections of film in Europe to a paying audience. The film titles for the initial program were: Bauerntanz zweier Kinder, Komisches Reck, Serpentinen Tanz, Der Jongleur Paul Petras, Das Boxende Känguruh, Akrobatisches Potpourri, Kamarinskaja, Ringkampf, and Apotheose. Each film lasted approximately six seconds and would be repeated several times.

Bioscop

The Bioscop is a movie projector developed in 1895 by German inventors and filmmakers Max Skladanowsky and his brother Emil Skladanowsky (1866–1945).

Boxing Kangaroo (film)

Boxing Kangaroo (German: Das Boxende Känguruh) is an 1895 German short black-and-white silent documentary film, directed and produced by Max Skladanowsky, which features a Kangaroo boxing against a man against a white background at the Circus Busch. The film, which premiered at the first public projection of motion pictures in Germany on 1 November 1895 (1895-11-01), was filmed on 35 mm film and is 18 feet in length.The "groundbreaking production", was, according to WildFilmHistory, "a huge success", which, "despite being intended for entertainment rather than as a scientific behaviour study", "revealed animal actions in a way that had never been seen before", and, "exposed the potential for future films concerning wildlife and natural history".

Boxing kangaroo

The boxing kangaroo is a national symbol of Australia, frequently seen in popular culture. The symbol is often displayed prominently by Australian spectators at sporting events, such as at cricket, tennis, basketball and soccer matches, and at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. The flag is also highly associated with its namesake national rugby league team – the Kangaroos. A distinctive flag featuring the symbol has since been considered "Australia's sporting flag".

Die Serpentintänzerin

Die Serpentintänzerin (also known as Serpentinen Tanz) is an 1895 German short black-and-white silent documentary film, directed and produced by Max Skladanowsky, one of the German-born brothers responsible for inventing the Bioscop.

It was one of a series of films produced to be projected by a magic lantern and formed part of the Wintergarten Performances, the first projections of film in Europe to a paying audience. The film titles for the initial program were: Italienischer Bauerntanz, Komisches Reck, Serpentinen Tanz, Der Jongleur Paul Petras, Das Boxende Känguruh, Akrobatisches Potpourri, Kamarinskaja, Ringkampf and Apotheose. Each film lasted approximately six seconds and would be repeated several times.In 1995 this film was incorporated into Gebrüder Skladanowsky, a drama telling the story of the Skladanowsky Brothers and the early days of German film projection..

Flip book

A flip book or flick book is a book with a series of pictures that vary gradually from one page to the next, so that when the pages are turned rapidly, the pictures appear to animate by simulating motion or some other change. Flip books are often illustrated books for children, but may also be geared towards adults and employ a series of photographs rather than drawings. Flip books are not always separate books, but may appear as an added feature in ordinary books or magazines, often in the page corners. Software packages and Websites are also available that convert digital video files into custom-made flip books.

Guido Seeber

Guido Seeber (22 June 1879 in Chemnitz – 2 July 1940 in Berlin) was a German cinematographer and pioneer of early cinema.

Seeber's father, Clemens, was a photographer and therefore Seeber had experience with photography from an early age. In the summer of 1896, he saw the first films of the Lumière Brothers and became fascinated by this new technology. He bought a film camera and devoted himself to the development of cinematography and of sound films.

In 1908 he became technical manager of the film company Deutsche Bioscop and in 1909 directed his first film. His pioneering work as a cinematographer from this time on laid the foundations which other cameramen of German silent film such as Karl Freund, Fritz Arno Wagner and Carl Hoffmann were able to build.

In addition to his technical talents with the camera (he developed several special effects techniques), his use of perspective and skillful contrasts between light and dark are noteworthy. His main collaborators were the directors Urban Gad, Lupu Pick, Georg Wilhelm Pabst und Paul Wegener and among his most important accomplishments are the shots of the Doppelgänger in Wegener's Der Student von Prag (The Student of Prague) of 1913 and the moving camera shots in the films of Lupu Pick, particularly Sylvester (1923), which can be seen as anticipating the so-called "unchained camera" of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau's The Last Laugh (1924).

Seeber created several animated works, including an advertisement entitle Kipho or Du musst zur Kipho (You Must Go to Kino-Photo) for a film and photography exhibition in Berlin in 1925.Seeber continued to work into the sound era, but his work from this period is less significant. He had suffered a stroke in 1932 and after this he largely retired from active camera operation. However, he continued to be involved in the film industry, taking over the management of UFA's animation department in 1935 and publishing several books for amateur filmmakers.

Hermann Ganswindt

Hermann Ganswindt (June 12, 1856, Voigtshof bei Seeburg, East Prussia – October 25, 1934, Berlin, Germany) was a German inventor and spaceflight scientist, whose inventions (such as the dirigible, the helicopter, and the internal combustion engine) are thought to have been ahead of his time.

He was born in Voigtshof near Seeburg, East Prussia. During his youth, he showed an interest in technology. As a student he developed a freewheel for bicycles, which he later produced in Berlin-Schöneberg. Following a suggestion by his parents he attended law school at the universities of Zurich and Leipzig. After completion of his military service he enrolled at the University of Berlin. However, he was exmatriculated for not undertaking his studies.

After 1880 he developed concepts for a space vehicle based on the principle of repulsion. His two-stage vehicle was designed to be driven by a series of dynamite explosions. Since it was to be taken aloft by way of a carrier vehicle, he designed a helicopter as early as 1884.On 27 May 1891, he gave a public speech at the Berlin Philharmony in which he introduced his concept of a galactic vehicle (Weltenfahrzeug). In July 1901 the maiden flight of his helicopter took place in Berlin-Schöneberg, which probably was the first motor-driven flight carrying humans. A movie covering the event was taken by Max Skladanowsky, but it remains lost.

In 1902, Ganswindt was accused of fraud and arrested because he had added a safety bar to his vehicle to prevent it from rolling. After spending eight weeks in pre-trial custody he was released after a flight demonstration proved his innocence. Nevertheless, his business was ruined. He died in Berlin, 1934.

List of German films of 1895–1918

This is a list of the most notable films produced in the German Empire until 1918, in year order.

It includes German films from the introduction of the medium to the resignation of the Emperor at the end of World War I. While the output of films during this period is small, and cinema was a science in its infancy, many of these films laid the groundwork for German Expressionism, as well as document a prosperous, yet foreboding, period in German history.

For an alphabetical list of articles on films of the period see Category:Films of the German Empire.

List of years in film

This list of years in film indexes the individual year in film pages. Each year is annotated with the significant events as a reference point.

19th century in film

20th century in film:

1900s – 1910s – 1920s – 1930s – 1940s – 1950s – 1960s – 1970s – 1980s – 1990s

21st century in film:

2000s – 2010s – 2020s

The Boxing Kangaroo

The Boxing Kangaroo is an 1896 British short black-and-white silent documentary film, produced and directed by Birt Acres for exhibition on Robert W. Paul's peep show Kinetoscopes, featuring a young boy boxing with a kangaroo. The film was considered lost until footage from an 1896 Fairground Programme, originally shown in a portable booth at Hull Fair by Midlands photographer George Williams, donated to the National Fairground Archive was identified as being from this film.It was one of at least four boxing-themed films Acres produced in 1896, the others being Boxing Match; or, Glove Contest, A Boxing Match in Two Rounds by Sgt. Instructor F.Barrett and Sgt. Pope and A Prize Fight by Jem Mace and Burke. The year before, German filmmaker Max Skladanowsky had made a similar film depicting a man boxing with a kangaroo, entitled Das boxende Känguruh.

Udo Kier

Udo Kier (born Udo Kierspe; 14 October 1944) is a German actor and voice actor who has appeared in over 200 films.

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