Two more sections from the amazing-looking Lumière blu-ray:
Chap 3: Enfances
La Petite fille et son chat (1900)
A horrific film introducing early filmmakers to the problem of making movies with animals. The action is a girl in a preposterous hat hand-feeding a hungry cat, but the cat loses interest halfway, ditches the film and has to be thrown back into frame. The girl’s a much better sport – in the second half you can see the cat clawing her arm, but she continues to act through the pain, pushing further back in her seat in case the animal goes for her eyes next.
Premiers pas de bébé (year unknown)
Kid in wind-inflated clown clothes walks unsteadily down the sidewalk, then falls down – a comedy or a tragedy, depending whether you like kids.
Pêche aux poissons rouges (1895)
Mustache man works hard to get a kid in a diaper-hat to reach for the fish, which she does occasionally in between trying to keep a steady foothold and trying to pull the whole thing over – kind of a failed attempt at a filmed action, but maybe film was super expensive so they released it anyhow.
Petit frère et petite sœur (1897)
Boy and girl swing in circles until they fall down, what fun. The film hasn’t run out yet, so he picks her up and they start again, with the girl shooting a “what? I thought we were finished” look into camera.
Enfant pêchant des crevettes (1896)
Kids in increasingly ridiculous hats skim the water with shrimp nets while their parents hover nearby.
Le goûter des bébés (1897)
Two girls at either ends of a table while young Casanova sits in between feeding them grapes. According to google, the title translates as The Taste of Babies.
Baignade en mer (1895)
Older kids dressed as escaped convicts jump off a rickety diving board into the sea.
I’ve seen some of these before (and taken the exact same screenshots).
Enfants jouant aux billes (1896)
A game of marbles, at an unfollowable distance even in this beautiful HD edition. The dirty kids in their adorable period garb are still worth watching, though.
Défilé de voitures de bébés à la pouponnière de Paris (1897)
Long train of nannies with babies in buggies.
Chapter 4: La France Qui Travaille
Ateliers de La Ciotat (1899)
What is happening? Spinning gears and flywheels, as workmen carry large things about.
Men climb down a ladder, then remove the ladder. What is that thing? Ah, English title is Loading a Boiler, not so thrilling.
Ouvriers réparant un trottoir en bitume (1897)
Spreading what looks like black tar on the ground – looks hot and miserable.
Défournage du Coke (1896)
I’ve seen this one a bunch of times, and it’s fascinating… super-hot coal residue, sliding slowly out from whatever contraption this is, one guy hosing it down, others hesitantly attacking it with poles, finally increasing the pole action towards the end.
Laveuses sur la rivière (1896)
There was a laundry shed for ladies along the river. Nicely framed shot – my favorite part is the men standing lazily above watching the laundry get done.
Transport d’une tourelle par un attelage de 60 chevaux (1896)
Sixty horses towing a massive whiskey barrel (or a turret, acc. to google translate). This film has a cut, because obviously the Lumières wanted to see the line of the horses then the giant object wheeling into view but a supervisor holds the line, so it seems they stopped shooting until it resumed.
Pêche aux sardines (1896)
Untangling fish from the net, which goes slowly because the fishermen keep turning around to look at the camera.
Les pompiers I: passage des pompes (1896)
So cool, horse-drawn firetruck passing through, as street traffic moves aside for them.
Attelage d’un camion (1896)
More horse-pulling action, this time a smaller team than a few films ago, pulling a less interesting load (concrete blocks).