Sunday, August 27, 2017

Carmencita (1894)

Sometimes, curiosity gets the better of me.  I’ll click on Wikipedia links until I end up looking up information on a movie, and suddenly I’m reading about useless buildings.  While looking at IMDb, I got curious about the seven-digit number assigned to each title.  Was there a title number 1?  Apparently, there is.  It’s called Carmencita.

This is one of those unusual cases where I’m not really reviewing a title.  Instead, this is more to point out something of interest.  This is probably a title that you’d never come across in your usual routine.  IMDb has it listed as both a documentary and a short, both of which are correct.  (I’m not sure what to call it other than a documentary, as it’s documenting the dance routine.)

Carmencita is only about 24 seconds long and is produced by the Edison Manufacturing Company.  William K.L. Dickson was the man who made the motion picture camera for the company and subsequently produced and directed a few short films.  One of these films was of a dancer named Carmen "Carmencita" Dauset Moreno, who demonstrated one of her routines.

It’s difficult to really go into any detail, since it’s such a short routine.  There is some significance in that Ms. Moreno is the first person to appear in an American film.  (Edison Manufacturing Company was called "America's First Movie Studio”.)  It has also passed into the public domain due to its age, meaning you can find several copies on YouTube.  It’s not the kind of thing that’s difficult to come by.  I write this more in the hopes that someone will read this and find it at least mildly interesting.

 IMDb page

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