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  • Trick Bears 1899

    ★★★ Watched 28 Oct, 2014

    Absolute Herzogian chaos. This is supposed to be a record of a circus act in which bears dressed in human clothes sit in chairs and walk on their hind legs, but it mostly consists of the camera starting and stopping as the handlers kick the bears and beat them with sticks. Halfway through, we cut into the image of three bears, walking in a circle, holding rifles, while half a dozen handlers beat them; eventually, two of the bears begin tearing into each other.

  • Transformation by Hats 1895

    ★★ Watched 21 Oct, 2014

    Here’s another micro-genre that flourished in the first few years of film: the facial, a three-quarters shot of an actor, usually seated, giving different reactions in-character. (Old Man Drinking a Glass of Beer, starring the Brighton comedian Tom Green, is a good example.) This early, Lumiere-shot entry is more hectic than most, recording a performer as he runs through a half-dozen Gene Parmesan-grade disguises.

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