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Lumière and the Overhead Railway

Exhibition at National Museums Liverpool: Lumière and the Overhead Railway (NWVM 2011/12).

As far as it is possible to determine from Michelle Aubert’s and Jean‐Claude Seguin’s La Production cinématographique des frères Lumière (1996) and other sources, Jean Alexandre Louis Promio, film operator of the Lumière Brothers, produced in 1897 the first record of the city of Liverpool in the form of moving images. Six of his films are from a cinematic and urban context particularly noteworthy and are currently subject of further investigations: Church Street, Lime Street and four parts of Panorama Pris du Chemin de Fer Électrique – all of which are either shot in the city centre or from Liverpool’s famous Overhead Railway.

This research and resulting permanent exhibition at the National Museums Liverpool explores questions with regard to Promio’s particular choice of location, the cinematographic quality and the architectural significance of his work. Applying a methodology derived from architectural (mapping) and film practice (3D digital compositing) and by making use of digital Ordinance Survey (OS) maps and other digital tools, this interdisciplinary research highlight two essential problems with regard to the spatial continuity of this Lumière material and the way it is currently presented: one has to do with the numbering of the rolls of film, and the second with the film footage itself. More than 2 million visitors have visited the new waterfront museum and exhibition in the first two years. The museum is the most visited museum outside London.


Friday. 30 July 2013

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