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Baignade dans le torrent (1897) Online

Baignade dans le torrent (1897) Online
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Baignade dans le torrent
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Movie / Short
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Alice Guy
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Baignade dans le torrent (1897) Online

User reviews



Fisherman at the Stream, The (1897)

Bathing in a Stream (1897)

Serpentine Dance by Mme. Bob Walter (1897)

*** (out of 4)

Three early films from Gaumont Studios and director Alice Guy. The first film, THE FISHERMAN AT THE STREAM has a group of boys playing a prank on a fisherman by pushing him into the water. BATHING IN A STREAM, apparently shot at the same time as our first film, has the boys taking a bath in that stream while SERPENTINE DANCE BY MME. BOB WALTER, running the longest at 107-seconds, is pretty much a direct remake of ANNABELLE SERPENTINE DANCE from Edison. Out of the three films from this year in Kino's collection, the first one is probably the best but none of them really feature Guy breaking out onto her own as all three seem to "borrow" a lot of previous films from Melies and Edison. The third film is probably the weakest of the bunch as we've seen in from various studios and it has probably already grown quite tiresome even in this early part of cinema, although people back then were obviously eating it up.


A year after she shot her first movie, here Mlle. Guy is, shooting five boys playing around the rocks of a river rapids. One of the commenters on the IMDb wonders if the youngsters knew what was going on, as if the camera crew consisted of Alice wandering about the forest, spotting them, whipping out her IPhone -- Android not having been developed in the 19th Century -- and then sneaking away to share her ill-gotten intellectual gains with her corporate masters.

In fact, someone would have noticed an appropriate site, an hour would be chosen for correct light or reflectors dragged in and a cameraman and his equipment would come in and set up, do some testing to make sure the shoot would work. Then Mademoiselle Guy -- or perhaps, given that she was in charge, Madame -- would tell the boys to get in the water and play, but stay in that area.

Then they would shoot it again in case it came out better. And come back tomorrow, boys, in case the film we develop in the lab isn't as good as we'd like.


"Baignade dans le torrent" or "Bathing in a Stream" is another of the first female director's Alice Guy's silent short films. She was just in her mid-20s when she shot it and by today's standards there's really nothing too impressive about this half minute. We see a couple young topless guys playing around and joking in a stream. I'm so curious what they may have thought about a young woman filming them. Or if they even understood what she was doing with movies being really a bit of a mystery back then.

They're having a great time obviously standing on stones that prevent them from being flushed away and there's also a little dog around joining in the fun. From what I've seen from Guy, it's one of her less impressive works (especially compared to her amazing first work "La fée aux choux"), but still with all the special effects thrown at us today, it's pretty nice to see something like this not having vanished into oblivion (thanks God for video websites), so we can witness the simple pleasures of life these people were having, even if they and the moment they lived in this film are all long gone.