Girona mini-diary no. 3

Day two of the Origins of News in Early Cinema, held in the fine city of Girona. And once again we have just a brief summary of each of the papers given.

Charles Musser, Cinema, Newspaper and the US Presidential Election of 1896. – Musser scored big with the locals by wearing a Barcelona scarf. Authoritative keynote address on use of multimedia by Republicans and the press in 1896, contrasted with 1892 election.

The true-crime films of Antonio Leal, 1906-1909: From newspaper reportage to film reenactments in Brazil’s “Bela Época”. Rielle Navitski – the distinctive Brazilian genre of dramatisations of true crimes.

How actual was an actualité in early cinema? Time as agency in presenting moving images of news of fair ground and variety theatre. Ansje van Beusekom – How could early newsfilms be news if they were shown months afterwards?

How to tell a catastrophic event. The earthquake of Messina (Italy) in 1908. Luigi Virgolin – the newsfilms of the Messina earthquake.

Fernando Rus, pioner del fotoperiodisme barceloní i operador d’actualitats cinematogràfiques. Lluïsa Suárez – a little-known local filmmaker, tantalising traces of whose activity can be found in illustrated journals.

El nacimiento de las actualidades en el cine italiano: estudios sobre la guerra ítalo-turca (1911-1912) Sila Berruti i Luca Mazzei – impressive paper on innovations in technology in the Italian-Turkish war, fought in Lybia no less. Many film innovations we think of as coming from World War I were here. Particularly surprising to learn about ‘cinema-postcards’ made of soldiers’ families (how and where these were shpwn was unclear, however).

Luke McKernan. Links in the chain: early newsreels and newspapers – I spoke in broad brush terms about newsreels, connecting them to digital news of today. Newsreels were given surprisingly little mention during the seminar, most preferring earlier news event films.

I missed the next few papers while I went for a parade through the city, but here’s what they were, for the record:

El panorama de la batalla de Waterloo, Barcelona 1888 i la producció i recepció dels panorames de batalles. Neus Moyano

La llanterna i les seves variants com a antecedents dels diferents gèneres cinematogràfics. Jordi Artigas

La fascinació lúdica i participativa: entre Segundo de Chomón i el primer videojoc. Manuel Garin

Antonio Ramos i els orígens del cinema a la Xina. David Martínez-Robles i Teresa Iribarren

Los reportajes de festividades locales en la región de Murcia a comienzos del siglo XX: el caso de la restauración de “La Cruz de Mayo” (Caravaca de la Cruz, 1924). Ángel Morán

L’actualitat tecnocientífica en el cinema dels orígens: els films d’Edison i
l’electromagnetisme. Manuel Moreno

And then things were rounded off with a visit to Girona´s Museu del Cinema. More on that, and thoughts on the seminar and early newsfilms overall, will be composed for you on my return to home and home technology.

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