Edison: The Invention of the Movies
Worldcat link: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/57182599
This is a collection of movies from the studio that “invented” them, the Thomas Edison Company. Although motion picture cameras were invented in several times and places (and the Lumiere brothers have a better claim on getting the first practical system into operation), this does include some of the earliest film footage that survives today. It’s fascinating to watch how the films evolved with audience expectations. At a certain point, Edison was no longer “cutting edge,” but for the first decade of film history, and particularly with the introduction of Edwin S. Porter as the chief director, Edison defined American filmmaking for the world. Some of his most memorable works include “The Great Train Robbery,” arguably the first “western” and “Jack and the Beanstalk,” which is reminiscent of Melies in its use of fantasy and effects. Also of interest is “Rescued from an Eagle’s Nest,” which starred future director D.W. Griffith. Since these movies were shot in and around New York City, there is a lot of interesting footage to show what my home town looked like a hundred years ago, and numerous other fascinating historical details. The whole set takes over fourteen hours to watch, but that’s less than many viewers today will “binge-watch” when doing a TV series.