Attempts at three-dimensional motion picture presentation began almost at the same time as the invention of movies themselves. It’s a common motion picture legend that the early Lumière Brothers film Arrival of a Train had audiences fleeing from their chairs as the train approached the station, threatening to run directly off the screen into the auditorium. You might not know, however, that the Lumière Brothers reshot the arrival of a train in 3-D, and organized a technically improved screening of it and other 3-D shorts in 1935. Or that René Bunzli was making 3-D shorts as early as 1900. This special program hosted by 2011 Novikoff Award recipient Serge Bromberg presents some of the earliest examples of 3-D motion pictures as well as some contemporary gems. The inimitable Bromberg not only discovers rare treasures like the ones described above but also restores, preserves, archives and tirelessly roams the world screening them to astonished and delighted audiences. Bromberg, in his showman persona, also accompanies the films on the piano and sometimes even sings along! In addition to Lumière brothers’ 3-D work and other rarities by Georges Méliès, Norman McLaren, Charley Bowers, Chuck Jones and the Disney Studios, Bromberg unveils films from the Soviet Union and contemporary shorts by Matthew O’Callaghan and Pixar’s John Lasseter.
Films include Musical Memories (Dave Fleischer, USA 1953, 7 min), Working for Peanuts (Jack Hannah, USA 1953), Motor Rhythm (John Norling, USA 1940, 15 min), Arrival of a Train and other shorts (1935, Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière), Lumber Jack-Rabbit (Chuck Jones, USA 1954, 7 min), 3-D Experiments by René Bunzli (France 1900), Melody (Ward Kimball, USA 1953, 10 min), Falling in Love Again (Munro Ferguson, Canada 2003, 4 min), Knick Knack (John Lasseter, USA 1989, 4 min), The Infernal Boiling Pot (George Méliès, France 1903, 2 min), The Oracle of Delphi (George Méliès, France 1903, 2 min), Parafargamus the Alchemist (George Méliès, France 1903, 2 min), Fur of Flying (Matthew O’Callaghan, USA 2010, 3 min) and Coyote Falls (Matthew O’Callaghan, USA 2010, 3 min).
Retour de Flamme screens as part of SFIFF54's Novikoff Award program, An Afternoon with Serge Bromberg.
Total running time 150 min. Presented in association with San Francisco Silent Film Festival.