Photographers Being Filmed in Arrivée des Congressistes à neuville-sur-Saône (film still from Arrivée des Congressistes à Neuville-sur-Saône)

Arrivée des Congressistes à Neuville-sur-Saône (1895)

In 1895, the Lumière brothers took their camera to a meeting of the Congress of Photographic Societies. They filmed the members’ arrival at the conference, and then developed the footage and showed it to them that afternoon.

Although these were the very early days of film, the reaction of the subjects to the camera doesn’t seem all that different to the way people react today: some stare, some studiously ignore the camera’s presence, some pause to wave and show off, while others hurry past, head down.

As Arrivée des Congressistes à Neuville-sur-Saône is now in the public domain, you can watch it for yourself below.

(These early films tend to have a variety of names; this site uses the ones suggested by the British Film Institute.)

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