Lumière Frères: Pompiers Alert

Lumière Frères: Pompiers Alert

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black and white


Irish Film Archive


Association Frères Lumière, Irish Film Archive

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Association Frères Lumière

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Lumiere Catalogue No 723. This is one of a series of actuality films shot by the French filmmakers, Auguste and Louis Lumiere, in 1897, two years after the invention of cinematography. This is the first known material filmed in Northern Ireland.

Title sourced from the Irish Film Archive 


The story of cinema begins with the Lumiere brothers, who were noted for their one-shot, one-reel films of places and scenes of every day life. In 1895 they patented the earliest version of the film camera. The Cinématographe was a projector, printer and camera combined. Having debuted their new invention in Paris at the end of 1895, the brothers sent their operatives out around Europe. They believed that film would prove no more than a passing fancy and so sought to exploit its monetary potential. Agents for the Lumieres arrived in Dublin in April 1896, only four months after the Paris screenings. This would be the first time that moving images had been seen in Ireland. By the following year they had made it to the North of Ireland and recorded footage in Belfast, including these moving images of Castle Place.  It is likely that Alexandre Promio was the cameraman who actually shot these scenes.  

Title sourced from the Irish Film Archive  

Shot List

Static camera view of a street. A pair of horses enter the frame and a horse-drawn carriage of fire brigade comes into full view. It is followed by another four pompier carriages as people gather in the street. Children and men (a cyclist too) run and try to catch up with the last carriage as the frame fills up with smoke.


Photography - Alexandre Promio



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