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What tickled the Victorian fancy?

Exploring some of the film tricks and treats that were available to audiences in Victorian times.

Welcome back to Week 3 of the The Living Picture Craze.

“We are not amused”, Queen Victoria famously said – or so we are told. Her subjects, though, were eager for all sorts of entertainments and film was happy to oblige. In this video Bryony Dixon describes some of the tricks and treats that were available to audiences – comic sketches, star turns, theatrical scenes and erotic films (well, almost). Although, as we have seen in Week 2, non-fiction subjects outnumbered entertainments, it was the latter that inspired early filmmakers to create many of their greatest innovations.

This week we will be learning about:

  • How filmmakers exploited the novelty of movement for comic effect
  • Why The Big Swallow (1901) is still a mystery today
  • Why early film turned to the theatre for its subject matter
  • What a film programme looked like and how to make a great one for an audience

What films are you most looking forward to watching and why? Please let us know in the space below.

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The Living Picture Craze: An Introduction to Victorian Film

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