Berlin, 1896

Restored, with sound and played back at the right speed: This is what Berlin looked like in 1896.

friedrichstrasse-1896

Filmmaker Guy Jones has taken on the film-historical, digitally restored treasure from the archives of Louis and Auguste Lumière. The two brothers showed the first films for pay in Paris in 1895, which is now considered the real start of cinema history. The film recordings depicted normal life (archive film here)The total of 1405 film impressions are now part of the world documentary heritage. The film made in Berlin in 1896 also shows passers-by on Berlin's Friedrichstrasse. This is said to be one of the first German film recordings ever (one can find various details and sources on this, some of which contradict each other). To be seen in the background: The exhibition "42 wild women from Dahomey" opened that day in the Passage-Panoptikum.

What makes the clip edited by Guy Jones special is that it is played at exactly the right speed, which is unusual for footage from the early days of film history. Additionally, realistic ambient sounds have been added to the silent film. This is somewhat reminiscent of the film "They Shall Not Grow Old"for which director Peter Jackson has restored and coloured original footage from the First World War in such an elaborate way that it really brings it to life (currently showing in cinemas).

 

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