Paris is always a good idea! By now everyone knows that. Yet still, there are places that are left undiscovered by the masses. Museums like the Louvres welcome around 9 million visitors per year. Enough people to create a 2-hour queue. Luckily the city of light has more to offer. Le musée de la cinémathèque on rue de Bercy is a must-see for the lovers of film amongst us. During my stay in Paris, I visited the museum out of curiosity and I can assure you it was worth the full €12.

During my stay in Paris, I visited the museum out of curiosity and I can assure you it was definitely worth the full €12.

The evolution of film

Cinema wasn’t always as fancy. It was trial-and-errors from the start. With time directors wanted to enrich the viewer’s experience to a higher level. When we look at our TV screens it seems like the most normal thing. Nonetheless, like almost anything else on earth: it started with an experiment.

Movies in 2016 have never looked so unreal and full of action. It took the film industry quite some time to practice and make movies accessible to the public the way it’s done in our modern day.  The first movies starting from the 1890s were under a minute long, colorless and silent with very limited cinematic technique. So you can imagine how simple the presentation was. All because of the undeveloped technology back then.

Enfnts Terribles : Watch & Read - Le musée de la cinemateque

Enfnts Terribles : Watch & Read - Le musée de la cinemateque

The silent era of film

Prior to 1927, motion pictures were produced without any sound. That’s the main reason why this era is referred to as the silent era of film.  For the sake of the viewer’s experience, silent movies were often lead by a live orchestra and a showman/storyteller of the night.

Cinema wasn’t always this fancy

Nowadays we look up to the film industry as something big and prestigious. Well, that wasn’t always the case.

Originally cinema was a much cheaper and simple midway to entertain the masses. Until movies become popular theaters and cabarets were the real deal for centuries. Despite the restricted level of craft still movies became the most popular visual art form. It’s only around the early 20th century that movie theaters gained popularity.

From that point on the first eye-catching illustrated posters came to life.

The next step towards 2016 film quality was “Le mépris ” starring Brigitte Bardot. It’s a french drama film from 1963. Written and directed by the revolutionary Jean-Luc Godard. Le mépris was screened in France, UK and USA. According to what we saw at the musée de la cinématique, films were literally shown like this.

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The experimental phase: cinema pour tous

Before the famous Television was commercialized, multiple options were tested. Back in the days, you found it in cafés, restaurants and other public places (yes, like a jukebox). However, the industry knew it’s potential and wanted to revolutionize but how? Cinema pour tous was the solution!
Emerging in late 1896, cinema pour tous made it possible for everyone to make their own filmstrips and have animated screenings in their homes. Like the “Birtac” for instance, a reversible camera using smaller-sized film.
Out of this concept came the televised jukebox, 3D glasses and more.

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Photo credit: Jonathan Zegbe for Enfnts Terribles