L’arroseur arrosé (1895)    2 Stars


L’arroseur arrosé (1895)

Director: Louis Lumière

Cast: François Clerc, Benoît Duval

Synopsis: A gardener is watering his flowers, when a mischievous boy sneaks up behind his back, and puts a foot on the water hose.


Courtesy of the pioneering Lumiere brothers, with L’arroseur arrosee the cinema tells its first story – and what laughter it must have aroused when first shown in 1895. Everyone knows the story and everyone has seen a variation of it at least a dozen times since; some of us have even played the childish prank of stepping on a hose until the person using it peers into its nozzle (or had it played upon us). L’arroseur arrosee was one of the films on the first-ever movie bill and, as with all early films, the camera is static meaning that the action must take place within a confined space. The brothers didn’t yet seem to have considered a world that could exist beyond the confines of their frame…

(Reviewed 28th May 2009)