The Guests

The sister of one of the Lumière brothers’ technicians is getting married. The festively dressed guests walk up a flight of broad steps to enter the building. The camera is located inside, facing outward. The guests are coming from the church square, still visible in the background. The monochrome colouring, the clothing, the look of the street: it’s a photograph from the 19th century. As the group begins to move, it’s as if they are walking past the wedding and into our present.
We see the women’s tight-fitting dresses and wonder how they can even breathe. We see the excitement on the face of a boy. We ask ourselves how long it will be before someone walks in front of the camera and thus blocks the picture. As we wait, we discover a coach driving by behind the guests. When our gaze returns to the front, the photograph is no longer the same.
Our eyes wander from front to back, from the bottom left-hand corner to the top right-hand one. Is the screen concave or convex? Are we the ones generating the depth through the flat surface of the image? Silent film, avant-garde, and digital 3D: one hundred and twenty years of film history merging into one single cinematic event.
by Ken Jacobs USA 2013 73’

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