Démolition d’un mur (1896)
Director: Louis Lumière
Cast: Auguste Lumière
Synopsis: Auguste Lumière directs four workers in the demolition of an old wall at the Lumière factory
I suppose Démolition d’un mur is arguably the first film to contain a twist ending and I’m pretty sure it must have been quite astounding to an audience of the late nineteenth century. After all, as simple as reversing a film might seem today, it was something that had never been seen before back then.
Démolition d’un mur is really as mundane as any commercially released film can conceivably be: a couple of workmen set about demolishing a wall while another man — presumably their supervisor — looks on. Once the wall has fallen the Lumière’s reverse the film to show the wall miraculously rebuilding itself. A simple trick thus transforms the mundane into the miraculous.
(Reviewed 28th May 2009)