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Louis Lumière (1968)

| Documentary | TV Movie
Eric Rohmer leads a conversation with Jean Renoir and Henri Langlois on the art of filmmaker Louis Lumière. The cinematographic pioneer Lumière produced thousands of documentaries in the ... See full summary »

Director:

Éric Rohmer
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Cast

Credited cast:
Jean Renoir ... Himself
Henri Langlois ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Éric Rohmer ... Himself (voice)
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Storyline

Eric Rohmer leads a conversation with Jean Renoir and Henri Langlois on the art of filmmaker Louis Lumière. The cinematographic pioneer Lumière produced thousands of documentaries in the end of the 19th century, but also some short comedies with amateur actors. The films are done in one shot and are only 1 minute in length. Lumiére and his operators chose a place, put up the camera and then recorded what happened in front of the lens. In spite of this both Renoir and Langlois argue that the films of Lumière are not simply reproductions of reality, but pieces of art. Renoir points out that Lumiére didn't just reproduce the externals of what he saw, but also its spirit and inner life. The films are not only showing a piece of contemporary reality, but Lumière's vision of that reality. Langlois remarks that the films of Lumière were not made at random, but out of a consciously chosen dramaturgy and composition. Lumiére and his team chose, after long deliberations, the motif of the film ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

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Documentary

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Country:

France

Language:

French

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Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Edited from Paris, le Pont-Neuf (1897) See more »

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User Reviews

 
So very French...
19 September 2018 | by petersmovieposters-36377See all my reviews

Louis Lumiere (1968) is a fascinating oddity. Essentially a discussion between Jean Renoir, Henri Langlois, and Eric Rohmer about the short films of Louis Lumiere, samples of which are, happily, included throughout, it is as revealing about the '60s era cinema as it is about pre-1900 movie-making. Chain-smoking Langlois perfectly represents the Cahiers du Cinema crowd of the time with piles of pretentious hooey about Lumiere's art, joined to a much lesser degree by the older school Renoir who manages to temper his observations with a slightly less intellectual take on things. Still, it's good to see the old boy, he's not one of the usual suspects.

As we get close to being as distant from the nouvelle vague as Langlois and Renoir were from Lumiere there's a degree of irony in that the same level of pretentious hooey can be foisted onto Rohmer's creation as was put on Lumiere's. Still, theirs is a worthy conversation even if one is not persuaded by the arguments, not to mention it's always a treat to see original Lumiere shorts so it's got that going for it. Perhaps the most interesting conversation is at the very end when they discuss the difficulties of film preservation, a subject we're still trying to come to grips with all these decades later.


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