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The origins of scientific cinematography. Parts 1-3.

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About this work


This DVD is a compilation of three programmes: Part 1, The Pioneers (1990) / Part 2, Technical Developments around the Turn of the Century (1992) / Part 3, Early Applications (1993). Part 1 is dedicated to the astronomer, J. Janssen, the photographer Edward Muybridge and the physiologist E. Marey, and is a compilation of documentary film sequences intended for use in teaching. Arranged chronologically in six sections, it supports the thesis that cinematography had its roots in science. Among the sequences are Janssen's "photographic revolver" (1873/4), designed to record the transit of Venus in front of the Sun; Muybridge's development of serial photography of human and animal locomotion (1878-87); Marey's "photographic gun" (1882), his models of the "chronophotograph" (1882-93) and his first research films. The film is based on Virgilio Tosi's book "Il cinema di Lumiere". Part 2 shows how between 1883 and 1914 scientists, photographers, teachers and army officers, among whom were A. Londe, H. Sembert, O. Aschutz, E. Kohlrausch, G. Demeny, L. Bull, R. von Ledenfield and P. Nogues were interested in applying moving pictures in their diverse fields of activity. They developed various cinematographic equipments for production of serial images and film shots with natural and flash light. These images were used for documenting and analyzing human and animal movements as well as ballistic processes. Part 3 shows the development of time-lapse cinemtaography, with examples of the plant growth movement films of Wilhelm Pfeffer, Jules Ries and Jean Comandon, and the introduction of the camera into the operating theatre, with film of Eugene-Louis Doyen's separation of siamese twins and Ernst von Bergmann's leg amputation. Also shows John Macintyre's 1897 x-ray cinematography and extracts from films made in the course of some pre-1914 anthropological expeditions including the first attempt at simultaneous recording of picture and sound.


[Place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 1991.

Physical description

1 DVD (99 min.) : sound, color, PAL.

Creator/production credits

Institut fur den Wissenschaftlichen Film, Gottingen in coproduction with CNRS Audiovisuel, Paris and Istituto Luce S.P.A., Italnoleggo Cinematografico, Rome with Professor Virgilio Tosi

Copyright note

BUFVC 2006



  • English

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