The Biter Bit (1899)
While it seems rather sad that less than five years after the birth of cinema filmmakers were already raiding the back-catalogue for ideas, The Biter Bit does serve a useful purpose in showing how much the techniques of film-making had developed over that period. Where the Lumiere’s original was filmed with the action in profile, here the shot is given more depth and life by positioning the camera at an angle to the action and behind the prankster. This film also develops the second part of the film – the chase of the boy – to flesh out the joke of the boy stepping on the gardener’s hose to coax him into peering into its spout. When all is said and done, though, it’s still an unnecessary remake.
(Reviewed 8th June 2009)