February 10, 1896 [Childish Quarrel]
As with Le Repas de bébé, the Lumières provide a glimpse into the smaller details of home life, as two little ones, their bonnets rising above them like Bishops' mitres, engage in miniature combat--well, at least one does, the aggressor who taps and tugs at the other, eliciting "tears, idle tears" of a touching nature. As a father I know it is all but impossible to forestall such sudden altercations, but I am also uncertain about the decision to allow the children to quarrel in order to photograph it. I will not make too much of this--breaking precedent, I know--but if the Lumières, Edison and others continue to focus on "actualities," while striving to achieve narrative, what must they allow to occur unimpeded to ensure a finished product? Again, these little ones most certainly suffer no lasting harm, but we are on the verge of something new, I think, and both its makers and its audience will have to decide what boundaries may be crossed.
Posted by Paul J. Marasa at 7/20/2007 10:32:00 AM