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Le cinématographe Lumière (1945)

The youth of the Lumière brothers ; the invention of the cinematograph ; the first Lumière films ; the first film projection at the Grand Café in Paris ; the Lumières' commercial and ... See full summary »


Henri Lepage (as Henry Lepage)


Henri Lepage (as Henry Lepage)


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Credited cast:
Léon Gaumont Léon Gaumont ... Lui-même
Auguste Lumière ... Lui-même (archive footage)
Louis Lumière ... Lui-même


The youth of the Lumière brothers ; the invention of the cinematograph ; the first Lumière films ; the first film projection at the Grand Café in Paris ; the Lumières' commercial and cultural heritage ; Louis Lumière at work in Bandol on a project of 3D cinema. Written by Guy Bellinger

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Documentary | Short


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French censorship visa # 650 delivered on 23-4-1945. See more »


Features Exiting the Factory (1895) See more »

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Rare documentary featuring two great pioneers of the moving pictures in the flesh.
3 June 2015 | by guy-bellingerSee all my reviews

"Le cinématographe Lumière" is a true rarity. Only one or two copies still exist in the hands of collectors. It has not been burnt on DVD, is never shown anywhere and there are no references about it on the Internet, with one exception (its registration at the Centre National de la Cinématographie). Which is all more regrettable historically speaking since this documentary filmed by the end of World war II is of overwhelming importance. If you are lucky enough to see it some day, first forget what its director Henri Lepage did when he later turned to fiction. Be reassured, this wonderful short has nothing to do with the idiocy of such turkeys as "Et ta soeur" or "L'île aux femmes nues". It is the work of a true lover of the seventh Art, not yet tainted by commercial films. Lepage's object here is naturally to relate the life and career of the Lumière Brothers, the inventors of cinema, which he does but not at all in a routine way. He assuredly starts a bit conventionally when he evokes the youth of the brothers, their first steps in photography, the various inventions preceding their own, which they called "Cinématographe". But some time into the film, he dares shift to docudrama, notably as he illustrates the first public projection of the Lumière films at the Grand Café in Paris. Two or three short scenes are thereby played by actors, which is common nowadays but was exceptional in the 1940's. A third and last part, the most exciting one, marks another change of course : it is devoted to Louis Lumière in the flesh. Very old, the brilliant inventor has retired in Bandol, a pleasant small town in southeastern France. Retired ? Yes and no, because what do we see? Louis still working passionately on a project of... 3D cinema! Even more amazing, Louis Lumière, who did not particularly like to speak in public, addresses Lepage's camera without too much reluctance. As this was not enough, Léon Gaumont, the famous inventor, engineer and industrialist, founder of the world's oldest surviving film company, also makes an appearance to express all his friendship for Lumière. This final segment makes "Le cinématographe Lumière" an unbelievably precious document for historians, researchers and naturally for film lovers. It is therefore a shame that it remains unseen. There is no doubt about it, "Le cinématographe Lumière" should be made available to all. And urgently. Please, distributors, do something to save this unknown document!

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Release Date:

1945 (France) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alcina See more »
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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