Westinghouse Air Brake Co. (Casting Scene) (1904)
Biograph made a large number of these films at the Westinghouse factories in Pennsylvania in the early 1900s. Although they’re all fairly short films (6 minutes long at most) they are all too long, and would have benefited from being edited into one longer film showing a few seconds from each scene. Of course it’s easy for us in the 21st Century to tell the pioneering filmmakers how they should have done it but, watching these films today, the monotony of some of these films is almost overwhelming.
This one shows a conveyor line transporting what are apparently moulds which are thrown onto the floor by the men attending the line. A couple of other men with tongs pick the moulds up and toss them into a pile in the foreground. And that is it. They do this for the entire length of the film (which is admittedly only three-ish minutes long) and the camera watches with a bovine lack of imagination that is exasperating.
(Reviewed 2nd August 2009)