Sunday, March 22, 2009

82/365 114 Year Old Batman, er, Batperson

The first version of Batman spread its wings 114 years ago today, well, sortof.

On March 22,1895, these two wild-eyed boys, Auguste and Louis Luminere presented their first demonstration of their fancy-dancy brand-new motion picture camera, the cinematographe, a nifty relatively lightweight machine that functioned as camera,projector and printer all in one.

The brothers made ten short films that lasted altogether a total of twenty minutes, most of everyday scenes, apparently during which women with giant batwings made a habit of flitting around Paris.

Neither brother viewed the machine as much more than a novelty. They thought people would soon grow bored with watching images they could see everyday in the real world (batwomen notwithstanding).

In December of 1895, all ten films were shown to the general public, one of which was a oncoming train pulling into the station. The audience screamed and ducked for cover, thinking the train itself was about to run through the theater. It was their Millenium Falcon, coming home to roost for the first time.

Small, lightweight, measuring just under 2' x 2'.

Fairly simple interior mechanism that pulled the film through by the sprocket holes running along each side.

And here we are, 114 years later, now able to spend the entire day at the movies watching....Batman.

Same bat time, same bat channel, same bat wing.

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