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Lumiere & Company [VHS]

17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Patrice Leconte, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Liv Ullmann
  • Directors: Patrice Leconte, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Liv Ullmann, Vicente Aranda
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Danish, English, French, Greek, Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • VHS Release Date: November 11, 1997
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304287356
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,777 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Some of the world's leading directors (David Lynch, Spike Lee, Wim Wenders, Zhang Yimou, John Boorman) use the original Lumiere picture camera to create short films all over the world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Michael Sean on April 30, 2000
Format: DVD
This DVD is a collection of the interesting, although scattered, results of an inspired project. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Lumiere Brothers' first motion picture, 40 directors from around the world are each allowed to shoot a short film using their original hand-cranked model. The participants have to follow three rules: 1. The film is 52 seconds. 2. No synchronous sound (most use musical scoring or dub in foley sound, and many are silent) and 3. They have to get it within three takes. Unfortunately for the viewer, several of the filmmakers opt to merely capture trite snapshots of everyday life. While this keeps in tradition with the Lumiere Brothers' original films, which wowed audiences unfamiliar with moving images a century ago, it makes for a pretty unremarkable experience today. Patrice Leconte pays tribute to their film of a train arriving in La Ciotat, France in 1895 by documenting the arrival of a modern day streamliner at the same location. Alain Corneau applies the technique of color tints to footage of a dancer twirling about. Some of them set up elaborate sequences (Gabriel Axel, Jerry Schatzberg, Peter Greenaway), some are intentionally minimal (Wim Wenders, Regis Wargnier, Andrei Konchalovsky) or simple and symbolic (Arthur Penn, Abbas Kiarostami, Francis Girod, Cedric Klapisch) and a large number turn the camera on itself (Liv Ullmann, John Boorman, Claude Lelouch, Gaston Kabore, Youseel Chahine, Helma Sanders). David Lynch is one of the few directors who rises to the challenge with an exceptionally creative effort, and his is easily the most impressive of the bunch.Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marty From SF HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 18, 2004
Format: DVD
In 1885, the Lumiere Brothers perfected a hand-cranked movie camera that moved the world. This 100th year anniversary takes forty filmmakers to task with the same camera to produce a film less than a minute. It's not as interesting in its results as one might have hoped. It was a huge challenge and few really completed something of interest. Of those, David Lynch, Patrice Leconte and Alaine Corneau are the most intriguing, while well known directors like Spike Lee and Liv Ullmann are less so. However, this is subjective. Many of the directors are asked simple questions with the hopes of profound answers. "Why do you film" and "Is cinema immortal" get answers as mundane as `climbing a mountain because it is there'. Film students will, however, be fascinated with this project and historians will marvel that an invention so old can still be of artistic use. For the average viewer, this 88 minute documentary might seem boring, but at the very least, it is historic.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 27, 2003
Format: DVD
Lumiere and Company (Sarah Moon, 1995)
No, Lumiere and Company is not some sort of obscure sequel to Disney's Beauty and the Beast. (And where I got that idea, which I had for years, is completely beyond me.) Instead, it's Sarah Moon's third film, and a kind of global version of her second, Contriere l'oubli. Moon took the original camera manufactured by the Lumiere brothers, set some ground rules, and asked forty world-famous directors to shoot a fifty-two second scene with it. She then made a documentary incorporating behind-the-scenes footage with the short pieces themselves.
The result is a wonderful look into the mind of the filmmaker as he goes about the filmmaker's art. Each of the filmmakers does something completely different, and each answers the five questions put to him by Moon so disparately that the overall effect is one of a sort of comprehensive feeling about how films get made; one that no one director would subscribe to, but all embrace.
The short films themselves are directed by such luminaries as Costa-Gavras, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Liv Ullmann, Lasse Hallstrom, and many others who are easily recognizable; the trick was to get Moon, the relative neophyte, to create a wrapper that is the equal of the movies therein. And she did so, admirably. The is a fine little gem of a film, and well worth seeing. **** ½
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kenji Miwa on February 26, 2007
Format: DVD
Nearly one hundred years after the creation of the world's first portable motion picture camera, director Sarah Moon ambitiously compiles the work of forty international directors who agree to make a fifty two second film using the original Lumière brother's cinématographe. The project was an intriguing and appropriate way to commemorate the 100 year anniversary since the birth of cinema. Many directors paid their respects to the brother's ingenuity while, in a different approach, others explored the possibilities of the camera. Still, a small number merely participated with passivity. Much can be learned about the evolution of cinema through Sarah Moon's documentary, Lumière and Company.

Embracing the contributions the Lumière brother's made to cinema and technology, many directors choose to make a film in their honor. Patrice LeConte expressed her admiration directly by recreating the brother's famous L'Arrivée d'un Train à la Ciotat. Like the original Lumière films, LeConte filmed the train arrival without a single camera movement; positioning the camera in the exact spot the Lumière brother's once stood to make this memorable film. Ironically, LeConte's film was easily forgettable amongst the other films for its simplicity. Interestingly, it effectively served as a viewer Litmus test; what once made an audience run from the theater out of fear of a colliding train is now so trite that it has almost no effect. Claude Lelouch and Gabriel Axel also offer a tip of the hat by depicting the evolution of film as an art form and as a technology.
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