Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Policemen's Little Run (1907)

This short comedy by Ferdinand Zecca is a good example of the kind of slapstick comedy that the Pathe company became famous for during the early years of the 20th century. This subject involves a dog leading policemen on a merry chase through the streets of Paris. The chase, and the use of comic policemen, would become staples of American silent comedy as well, demonstrating the international influence that the French Pathe farces had at this time. There are some remarkable trick shots, including the policemen scaling the side of a building through the use of an overhead camera and a painted backdrop over which they climb. This creates an interesting juxtaposition between the use of authentic locations in the streets of Paris intercut with obviously painted backdrops.

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