Fun in a Bakery Shop (1902)    2 Stars


Fun in a Bakery Shop (1902)

Director: Edwin S. Porter



1902, and films were still in their infancy – or at least, at little more than six-years-old, their early childhood. The standards are still primitive, but it’s always fascinating to see these long-dead, largely anonymous entertainers performing their stuff in front of a stationary camera. This simple tale has a baker throwing dough at a rat he spies climbing up a barrel, then transforming the lumps of dough that stick on the barrel into a series of comical faces while also engaging in a spot of slapstick with a colleague. The effects are predictably primitive – the rat is clearly a toy on a piece of string that someone above the camera’s POV is smoothly pulling skyward, but the guy who magically moulds the dough is spot-on, creating a number of faces in seconds, adorning them with hats and hairstyles, and punching their chins to close their gaping mouths. Catch this short movie on the video player below, it’s definitely worth a view.

(Reviewed 19th May 2005)