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L'Arroseur arrosé
An image of L'Arroseur arrosé.

L’Arroseur arrosé

Arroseur et arrosé Poster

One of the first movies in the history of film lasting just over 30 seconds.

This film is composed in two phases; in the first we see the gardener quietly prune the lawn while the audience sees a guy who stops the flow of the water. The gardener looks stunned in the hose pipe; just then the guy pulls away his foot from the tube doing fly away his hat and hitting him in the face with the water jet. This is the moment when the audience reaches the pinnacle of hilarity.

In the second phase we see the pursuit between the child and the gardener, who tries to escape out of the screen, but in vain. The gardener pulls him by the ears and then spanks him hard. At the end the boy goes off-screen and the gardener goes back to his chores.

This is a single shot film, but it’s a very important movie: the first ever to stage a story with complete sense, establishing the first funny comedy.

An evident evolution compared to the first demonstration films which were just a filmed fragment of a real life event. For the first time there’s a creative usage of the medium. When the boy arrives we know that fact, but the gardener does not. This is the first time we can see a technique that anticipates the comic outcome to the audience (omniscient viewpoint) to keep them on their toes. The two characters then return closer to the fixed camera so that we can clearly see the punishment of the naughty boy.

Facts

  • The film was played in December 28, 1895 at the Salon indien du Grand Café in Paris, along with 9 other short films. Original title was Le jardinier
  • There is a second version of the film in which the gardener at the end, instead of spanking the boy, takes him in front of the camera and wets him with the water flow.
  • Since the copyright for films had not yet been imposed, there are more than one unofficial versions of this movie. One of the most famous was shot by Georges Méliès in 1896 with the title L'Arroseur.