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Faneurs (1897) Online

Faneurs (1897) Online
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Faneurs (1897) Online

Lumiere Catalog film no. 635

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About ten people are working at tedding hay -- loosening it as it lays on the ground to dry it more quickly -- while the camera records them. We have the two hallmarks of Lumiere actualities of this period: the perfect composition as they walk up to and past the camera, and the contrasting lines of motion, as their arms and brooms sweep back and and they move forward.

More than their actions, however, they seem aware of the camera. Their eyes are fixed securely on the ground as if this simple, repetitive action requires all their concentration. All except one woman who looks boldly at the camera. I see resentment in her eyes, but is it there? Has she been told to look at the camera to give some variation and am I just another member of the audience demonstrating the Kuleshov Effect?