Tue

27/07

Cinema Jolly > 14:30

1901: McKinley and the Pan-American Expo / 1921: Manhatta

Piano accompaniment by

John Sweeney

McKinley and the Pan-American Exposition
From 1 May to 2 November, 1901 the Pan-American Exposition took place in Buffalo, New York. It showcased on the one hand the latest advancements in technology, most notably electricity, and on the other hand trends and attitudes of the McKinley years. Symbolism played an important role in the architecture of the exhibition space. Many buildings were constructed in the Spanish colonial style with the aim of showing American supremacy after the US’s victory in the Spanish-American War. The amazing electric tower acted as a beacon and proclaimed the nation’s technological superiority to the world; the subjugation of Indigenous Americans was on display in Indian Village for all to see. It was not until September that President William McKinley was able to inspect the showgrounds. On 5 September a large parade was held on the exhibition ground in honour of the president’s visit. The next day, the presidential party took a trip to nearby Niagara Falls and returned to the Exposition for a reception in the Music Building. During this event an anarchist named Leon Czolgosz shot McKinley twice at close range. After surgery it initially looked as if the president would survive, but McKinley died eight days after the attack. Czolgosz was one of many anarchists who followed the concept of the “Propaganda of the deed” and assassinated people of the ruling class to ignite a “spirit of revolt”. Among others, the following heads of state and monarchs were assassinated around the turn of the century: the French President Carnot (1894), the Spanish Prime Minister Antonio Cánovas del Castillo (1897), Empress Elisabeth of Austria (1898) and Umberto I of Italy (1900). The murderer of McKinley was electrocuted on 29 October, 1901, 45 days after his victim’s death. Pathé frères produced a reconstruction (actualité reconstituée) of Czolgosz’s anarchist attack (no. 539) and also of his execution (no. 543) in 1901, which were filmed in Vincennes. Both films are considered to be lost.

1921 – Avantgarde, animation and more short films
1921 is the first year in our series A Hundred Years Ago in which films of the classical avant-garde comprise part of our selection. The term avant-garde was probably first applied in film circles in the 1920s in France, Germany and other countries in Western Europe to describe films and filmmakers in opposition to commercial cinema. When we speak of the avant-garde in film today, we refer to the 1920s as the classical period. The strand of avant-gardist movies from 1921 already features some of the most famous protagonists of this movement, such as Ruttmann and Richter. Both artists will be ‘fore-guards’ in avant-garde and experimental filmmaking for years to come. Another groundbreaking work from 1921 is the short documentary film Manhatta by Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand, considered to be the first American avant-garde film by many scholars. It can also be seen as a precursor of the famous feature-length city portraits (eg Man with a Movie Camera by Dziga Vertov) by avant-garde filmmakers, which will pop up at the end of the 1920s.

Alongside films from this new genre we show ‘usual suspects’ in this section such as a travelogue from North Africa and a colonial film from Congo. Both films demonstrate the inability of most filmmakers to meet a foreign culture in an appropriate manner, while offering gorgeous cinematographic shots from African landscapes, an important raison d’être of the genre. A Movie Trip Through Filmland and Les Coulisses du cinéma focus on the world of cinema: the first on the production of film material at the Kodak factory in Rochester and the second on the life of film stars in Hollywood.

Karl Wratschko

Projection
Info

Tuesday 27/07/2021
14:30

Subtitle

Original version with subtitles

Book

President McKinley Taking the Oath

Year: 1901
Country: USA
Running time: 1'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

The Mob Outside the Temple of Music and the Pan-American Exposition

Year: 1901
Country: USA
Running time: 1'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

President McKinley’s Speech at the Pan-American Exposition

Year: 1901
Country: USA
Running time: 1'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

Circular Panorama of Electric Tower

International Title
Circular panorama, Electric Tower
Year: 1901
Country: USA
Running time: 1'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

A Trip around the Pan-American Exposition

Year: 1901
Country: USA
Running time: 10'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

President McKinley Reviewing the Troops at the Pan-American Exposition

Year: 1901
Country: USA
Running time: 1'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

Taking President McKinley’s Body from Train at Canton, Ohio

International Title
Body Leaving the Train at Canton, Ohio
Year: 1901
Country: USA
Running time: 1'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

Execution of Czolgosz, with Panorama of Auburn Prison

Year: 1901
Country: USA
Running time: 3'
Sound
Mute
Edition
2021

Pan-American Exposition by Night

Year: 1901
Country: USA
Running time: 1'
Edition
2021

MANHATTA

Director: Paul Strand e Charles Sheeler
Year: 1921
Country: USA
Running time: 12'
Film Version

English intertitles

Sound
Mute
Edition
2021