A wayward toddler is the star of this short early travelogue.
Feeding The Pigeons In Saint Mark's Square, Venice (1898)
|Director||William K.L. Dickson|
|Countries||Italy United Kingdom|
(Alternative) Venice, Feeding the Pigeons in St. Mark's Square
Single shot of people feeding pigeons in St Mark's Square, Venice. In the middle of St Mark's Square, Venice, showing (left to right) a man dressed in white and crouching, a young girl aged about two years old, a woman dressed in white, and a second man in white carrying a tray with packages of bird-seed (his hat bears the words ` les pigeons'). The first man throws some bird-seed, then gets up to get some more seed from the seller. The young girl toddles towards the camera. The first man calls her back and she reappears, then toddles towards the camera once more (80ft/35mm). Note: Originally filmed in 68mm. The man on the left bears a strong resemblance to William Dickson himself, whose assistant would therefore have taken the picture. One of a number of films taken by Dickson during his visit to Venice in 1898.
An unruly child actor can't spoil the charm of this utterly delightful bit of film. The diminutive star seems to have her own agenda - she certainly doesn't seem too keen to take direction from filmmaker William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson (that's him, looking dapper in a white suit and cap). At least the pigeons hit their marks! The beauty of the scene is enhanced by its exceptional image quality - thanks to Dickson's unique large-format (68mm) film stock.
This was one of a number of films taken during Dickson's 1898 tour of Italy. On the same tour, Dickson secured the coup of capturing the first moving images of the Pope (then Leo XIII).
|William K.L. Dickson||-||Self (man on the left)|
|William K.L. Dickson||-||Director|
William K.L. Dickson was on vacation to Venice and took there this film while feeding pigeons in front of Saint Mark's Cathedral. It's better within the whole of the travelogue but stands well by itself too. This is better than the Lumiere version, maybe because of the toddler.