BRANCHENTREFFEN BEI DER ERSTEN KINOAUSSTELLUNG IN WIEN

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by Various Authors

grade: 7

Branchentreffen bei der Ersten Kinoausstellung in Wien (‘Meeting on the occasion of the first film exhibition in Vienna’), made in 1912, stands for one of the oldest documentaries produced in Austria, showing us the impact that cinema immediately had on people’s lives. And the great enthusiasm documented here speaks for itself.

Waiting audience

The magic of cinema. The fascination that it – since its origins – has exerted on spectators of all ages. It had to be several years after the first film screening in film history (with the film Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory, made by the Lumière brothers and which took place in Paris on December 28, 1895), before films also started to be produced in Austria just like in other European countries. Yet, starting around 1908, this finally happened. Thousands of spectators were thrilled. And the short documentary Branchentreffen bei der Ersten Kinoausstellung in Wien (‘Meeting at the first film exhibition in Vienna’) – made in 1912 – speaks for itself.

With a running time of just forty-five seconds, this interesting historical document successfully shows us the awe and wonder with which spectators of all ages used to relate to the newborn film medium. We find ourselves, then, in Vienna. For the first time, an exhibition focusing on the world of the seventh art was organised. Operators, producers, cinema owners and actors were ready to come together to discuss and pay homage to this new art form.

And at the opening of this Branchentreffen bei der Ersten Kinoausstellung in Wien, then, we immediately see how people welcomed such an event. Adults and children – all, rigorously, behind a fence – wait impatiently for the exhibition to begin. Yet, their wait is made more ‘bearable’ by something equally amusing: the presence of a cameraman who is about to film their enthusiasm with his camera. And as the camera moves in a slow tracking shot, each of them gives it an amused nod, while at the same time, some children try furtively to step over the fence.

Then, finally, here come the film professionals. Each one of them looks like a businessman. After the initial greetings, they are ready to kick off the event.

A very rare and precious document, then, this Branchentreffen bei der Ersten Kinoausstellung in Wien. Indeed, it stands as one of the oldest documentaries produced in Austria, showing us the impact that cinema immediately had on people’s lives. And the great enthusiasm documented here speaks for itself.

Only a few years had, in fact, passed since the first Austrian production companies were established, given that, as already stated, filmmaking began here much later than in the rest of the world. Yet, as one could well imagine, it took off rather quickly. All this for a film industry that was still in its infancy and that, in the years to come, would give us many pleasant surprises.

Original title: Branchentreffen bei der Ersten Kinoausstellung in Wien
Directed by: Various Authors
Country/year: Austria / 1912
Running time: 1′
Genre: documentary
Screenplay: Various Authors
Cinematography: Various Authors
Produced by: Various Authors

Info: the website of the Filmarchiv Austria