December 28, 1895 gained a special place in history, when the Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas Lumière and Louis Jean Lumière screened, what would later be known as the first ever motion picture, the 'Sortie de l'usine Lumière de Lyon' at the Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris.
A still from 'Sortie de l'usine Lumière de Lyon'. Pic/YouTube
The event is considered as the birth of cinema as a medium. Their film 'Sortie de l'usine Lumière de Lyon', also known as, 'Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory' is believed by many to be the first true motion picture.
The footage for the film was recorded on March 19, 1895, using a version of the cinématographe that the Lumiere brothers had patented in 13 February 1895. It shows workers leaving the Lumière factory and is 46 seconds long.
Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas Lumière and Louis Jean Lumière. Pic/AFP
Apart from their first film, the Lumiere brothers screened nine other short films during their history-making presentation. Each film is 17 meters long, which, when hand cranked through a projector, runs approximately 50 seconds. They were as follows...
>> Le Jardinier (l'Arroseur Arrosé) ("The Gardener", or "The Sprinkler Sprinkled")
>> Le Débarquement du Congrès de Photographie à Lyon ("the disembarkment of the Congress of Photographers in Lyon")
>> La Voltige ("Horse Trick Riders")
>> La Pêche aux poissons rouges ("fishing for goldfish")
>> Les Forgerons ("Blacksmiths"), 49 seconds
>> Repas de bébé ("Baby's Breakfast" (lit. "baby's meal"))
>> Le Saut à la couverture ("Jumping Onto the Blanket")
>> La Places des Cordeliers à Lyon ("Cordeliers Square in Lyon"—a street scene)
>> La Mer (Baignade en mer) ("the sea [bathing in the sea]")
Interestingly 'Le Jardinier' is considered one of the earliest attempts made at on-screen comedy.
The films of the Lumiere brothers were mostly known as actuality films, or actualités, are often cited as the first, primitive documentaries.
Famous urban legend
It is believed that when the Lumiere brothers film 'L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat', also known as, 'Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat' was shown on January 25, 1896, the audience was so overwhelmed by the moving image of a life-sized train coming directly at them that people screamed and ran to the back of the room.
A still from 'L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat'. Pic/YouTube
However, some have doubted the veracity of this incident and it remains opens to debate till this very day.