Sat

24/07

Cinema Jolly > 14:30

1901 – The Year of Ferdinand Zecca

Introduced by

Stéphanie Salmon

Piano accompaniment by

John Sweeney. Drums accompaniment by Frank Bockius

Ferdinand Zecca began working in film production for Pathé at the end of 1900. His father was a stagehand at Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin, and the Zeccas got their start at Pathé thanks to his brother’s wife. A singer at the Folies-Bergère, Madame Rollini was making cylinder recordings for the phonograph from 1898, and she first brought her husband, Louis Z. Rollini, into Pathé, followed by her brother-in-law Zecca. After starting out in fairs, then becoming a musician, Zecca was taken on at Vincennes, having set up Pathé’s cinema stand at the 1900 Paris Exposition. According to his brother, “his distinguishing features were his ingenuity and his bad temper” (Les Trois Zecca, memoir addressed to Maurice Bessy, c. 1947, Bessy collection), and his arrival proved to be disruptive. He squeezed out Gaston Breteau, whose negatives Pathé was buying and who continued nonetheless to produce and act in his own films. Several people later reported that Zecca was omnipresent: writing, painting sets, acting and directing. Thus, he created something of a production system at Pathé, with 96 films being made in one year, as is meticulously transcribed in the accounting records. For Charles Pathé, “Méliès and Zecca were the first true architects of what could be achieved by way of entertainment with this new invention [the cinematograph].” As with Méliès, whom he imitated, Zecca made films that were more than a series of simple shots, they comprised several tableaux, using numerous sets and extras. He liked to try out new trick-shots. For the export market, the texts that were built into the sets were translated into several languages. Dramas, documentaries, reconstructions, licentious scenes… diversity and energy yielded financial rewards (revenues rose by 143%!) and generated investment. In 1902, Pathé built its first studio.

Stéphanie Salmon

Projection
Info

Saturday 24/07/2021
14:30

Subtitle

Original version with subtitles

Book

À la conquête de l’air

Director: Ferdinand Zecca
Year: 1901
Country: Francia
Running time: 1'
Edition
2021

Histoire d’un crime

Director: Ferdinand Zecca
Year: 1901
Country: Francia
Running time: 5'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

An Over-incubated Baby

Director: Walter R. Booth
Year: 1901
Country: Gran Bretagna
Running time: 1'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

Par le trou de la serrure

Director: Ferdinand Zecca
Year: 1901
Country: Francia
Running time: 2'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

Une idylle sous un tunnel

Director: Ferdinand Zecca
Year: 1901
Country: Francia
Running time: 1'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

Rêve et réalité

Director: Ferdinand Zecca
Year: 1901
Country: Francia
Running time: 1'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

Charlemont

Year: 1901
Country: Francia
Running time: 2'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

L’Eau merveilleuse

International Title
A Wonderful Hair Restorer
Director: Ferdinand Zecca
Year: 1901
Country: Francia
Running time: 1'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

Les Sept châteaux du diable

Director: Ferdinand Zecca
Year: 1901
Country: Francia
Running time: 11'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

La Chasse est ouverte

Director: Ferdinand Zecca
Year: 1901
Country: Francia
Running time: 1'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

Monsieur et Madame sont pressés

Year: 1901
Country: Francia
Running time: 2'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021