The Lumière brothers were among the first filmmakers in history. From 1896 to 1900, t and they shot several scenes around Paris. Recently, their footage was remastered. Among other things, it was stabilized, slowed it down to a a natural rate, and sound was added.
It’s amazing. A twenty-first century look at late nineteenth Paris.
Amazing, but also, this is what I think every time I watch it:
All of these people are dead. Every single one of them. All of these happy, joyous, productive people are gone forever. Each one of them, at some point, breathed a final breath and then ceased to exist.
Not a single one of these people is still alive.
Including the Lumière brothers. Abandoning motion pictures about ten years later, they went on to become pioneers in color photography. Both brothers lived through both World War I and World War II, but they are gone today, too.
Not a single person in this film or behind the camera escaped alive.
This is what I think as I watch this film. It’s what I think about again and again as each scene changes.
I’m an absolute joy. Don’t you think?