1911: 2 movies

posted 2012 August 10

Rosalie et Léontine vont au théâtre
Directed by Romeo Bosetti;
Starring Sarah Duhamel

   Two women go to the theater where they have a blast but make trouble for the people around them by being touchy, loud, overly-expressive, and wet. Pranks and annoyances have been a constant theme in movies since Pauvre Pierrot (1892), but with these characters the theme is deepened and made more complex, and thus interesting. We are never sure whether Rosalie and Leontine are purposefully being annoying or whether they simply have less self-control and are living on a more instinctual basis, but there is something charming about that, especially because of the delightfully silly performances by the lead actresses. The dream of remaining child-like is fulfilled by watching these women.
   Playing Rosalie is Sarah Duhamel, the larger of the two actresses. The name of the smaller actress is currently unknown. Excellent direction of the audience and the stage-performers. The editing is also to be commended since it shifts between three different angles in the theatre in a way that keeps the movie brisk but flowing smoothly. 
   Countless future comedians and comedies owe to this one. The title translates as "Rosalie and Leontine go to the theatre".

Winsor McCay, the Famous Cartoonist of the N.Y. Herald and His Moving Comics
Written, Drawn, and Produced by Winsor McCay;
Live-action scenes directed by J. Stuart Blackton

   Based on the comic strip Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland, this movie can be a little long. Even though it's only about ten minutes long, the real action (the animation) only starts in the last fifth of its length. But when it does start, it does so with glorious color, three-dimensional movement, and charming characters. These three qualities are what separate this movie from those by Emile Cohl. Direct descendants of this are Walt Disney, Max Fleischer, and a great deal of Japanese anime. 

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