Crazy Cinématographe. Europäisches Jahrmarktkino 1896-1916

Crazy Cinématographe. Europäisches Jahrmarktkino 1896-1916

Edition Filmmuseum 18

2-disc DVD about the origins of the cinema. Dogs playing the piano, contortionists defying the pain limits, and local news "in life size and movement" early fairground cinema was a great attraction and sensation. Besides the variety theatres, it were particularly the travelling cinemas which contributed to the rapid establishment of the cinematograph as a popular medium. With the tongue-in-cheek title, similar to a barkers's yell, "Crazy Cinématographe", this double DVD reveals the buried tradition of annual market cinema. Hand-coloured serpentine dances, erotic piquancies and local street scenes evoke the colourful diversity of early short-film programmes. The DVD "European Cinema of Attractions 1896 1916" shows, in a varied sequence, rarities from the treasure chests of the European film archives ranging from Danish anarchistic slapstick to Scottish X-ray films and a Belgium film showing a hunt. The DVD "Local Films from the Greater Region 1902-1914" presents a forgotten film genre which was, in its day, a real crowd puller in travelling cinema. This DVD features films, including from the Marzen family, from Luxembourg, Trier and Saarbrücken which depict the local people who would then pay to see themselves in "living portraits" on the big screen.

About the Travelling Cinema

The heyday of the travelling cinema throughout Europe was between 1896 and 1914. At that time, films were shown at various entertainment locations the varieté theatres, for example, as a programme feature lasting 10 to 20 minutes which consisted primarily of current news. They were also shown at annual fairs and in halls as an independent programme 20 minutes to two hours of fabulous animated film, funny sketches and news. From 1906 these varied short film programmes were increasingly shown in fixed-site cinemas which gradually superseded commercial travelling cinema as of 1912. Apart from rural regions, which could not boast of film theaters, the travelling cinema was, after the First World War, largely limited to non-commercial programmes provided by political parties, churches and commercial enterprises.

In the heyday of commercial travelling cinema before the First World War, mid-sized companiestravelled with big tents to annual markets and folk festivals. These "electric fairytale palaces" were impressingly decorated with many coloured lights and belonged, in their day, to the biggest attractions at the Munich October Festival, the Bremen Fair and the Luxembourg Schueber Fair. The big tent cinemas could accommodate up to 2,000 spectators and travelled on fixed routes, often in several countries.

So-called "hall players" travelled to the smaller places: they had projectors and films with them and would rent a hall where they would show their programme, partly independent of the fixed dates of the annual markets and church festivals. The most well-known of the hall players in the Greater Region were "Edison's Elektrisches Theater" of the Marzen family from Trier.

In the establishment of the new medium of cinematography, travelling cinemas played a decisive role. It brought the "technical wonder of living photography" even to the small towns and villages. The programmes were international most films came from Paris, many also from Great Britain, Italy and the USA. But the greatest attractions were always the local films local people being filmed when they were leaving church after Sunday service or leaving the factory on their way home. In this way, people couldmarvel themselves 'in life-size and in motion' on the big screen!

Martin Loiperdinger

DVD-Features (2-disc DVD)

DVD 1: Europäisches Kino der Attraktionen

  • Will Evans, the Musical Eccentric GB 1899, 1'
  • Anarkistens Svigermoder DK 1906, 4'
  • Dansa Serpentina F 1900, 1'
  • Le Roi des Dollars F 1905, 2'
  • L'Homme mystérieuxF 1910, 6'
  • Le Réveil de Chrysis F ~ 1897-99, 1'
  • Premier Prix de violoncelle F 1907, 3'
  • Agoust Family of Jugglers GB 1898, 1'
  • Les Tulipes F 1907, 4'
  • Dr. Macintyre's X-Ray Film GB 1896, 1'
  • Dr. Macintyre's X-Ray Cabinet GB ~ 1909, 1'
  • Bain des dames de la cour F 1904, 1'
  • 13 The Adventures of "Wee Rob Roy" No. 1 GB 1916, 4'
  • Les Kiriki, acrobates japonais F 1907, 3'
  • The ? Motorist GB 1906, 3'
  • Photographie d'une étoile F 1906, 2'
  • Les Chiens savants F 1907, 5'
  • Horrible Fin d'un concierge F 1903, 2'
  • A Peace of Coal GB ~ 1910, 3'
  • Miss Harry's femme serpent F 1911, 3'
  • Bain de pieds à la moutarde F 1902, 2'
  • Scène pornographique F 1909, 2'
  • L'Amblystôme F 1913, 7'
  • Le Barbier fin de siècle F 1896, 1'
  • Lèvres collées F 1906, 2'
  • The Tale of the Ark GB 1909, 6'
  • Fâcheuse Méprise F 1905, 1'
  • Sculpteur moderne F 1908, 6'
  • Acrobati comici I 1910, 5'
  • Fox terriers et rats F 1902, 1'
  • Saïda a enlevé Manneken-Pis B 1913, 7'
  • Au revoir et merci F 1906, 2'
  • Music accompaniment by Günter A. Buchwald
  • 8page booklet with a text by Martin Loiperdinger

DVD 2: Lokalfilme aus der Großregion Luxemburg/Trier/Saarbrücken

  • Das malerische Luxemburg 1912, 6'
  • Übertragung der Gebeine des Hl. Willibrord 1906, 2'
  • Echternacher Springprozession 1906, 5'
  • Schlussprozession Octave 1911, 3'
  • Kavalkade 1905, 2'
  • Blumenkorso 1906 1906, 3'
  • Trauerzug für Großherzog Wilhelm IV 1912, 5'
  • Eidesleistung der Großherzogin Marie-Adelheid 1912, 5'
  • Marie-Adelheid im Kino 1912, 1'
  • Ein Besuch in der Champagnerfabrik Mercier 1907, 9'
  • Autofahrt durch Trier ca. 1903, 2'
  • Domausgang zu Trier 1904, 2'
  • Domausgang am Ostersonntag 1909, 3'
  • Fronleichnamsprozession in Trier 1909, 3'
  • Bilder aus Trier 1902-1909, 5'
  • Leben und Treiben auf dem Viehmarkt 1909, 2'
  • Blumenkorso 1914 1914, 3'
  • Straßenszenen in Saarbrücken ca. 1908, 5'
  • Music accompaniment by John Sweeney
  • Audio commentaries in German, English, French, Luxemburgish and Trier dialect

DVD edited by: Cinémathèque de la Ville de Luxembourg, Medienwissenschaft der Universität Trier
DVD authoring: Ralph Schermbach
DVD supervision: Claude Bertemes, Brigitte Braun

First edition July 2007, Second edition September 2007, Third edition August 2008, Fourth edition January 2012

TV Format Original format Audio format Language Subtitles Region code
4:3 (PAL)
Music score
Dolby Digital 2.0
All Regions


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