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Une histoire roulante
Une histoire roulante (1906)
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An unfortunate man has quite the tumble in a barrel.
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1906 Alice Guy
Une histoire roulante (1906)
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A bum crawls into a barrel. The barrel begins to roll downhill in this variation on the chase comedy directed by Alice Guy.

I successfully resisted titling this review with some variation of the old joke's punchline "It's your turn in the barrel" out of respect. Although there seem to be thousands of chase comedies from this period, all alike save for the random assortment of things being chased -- beds, sausages, pumpkins, monkeys -- all exactly alike, this one manages to stand out a bit. Perhaps it is the moment when the barrel pauses; perhaps it is its encounter with the lady bicyclist. Whatever it is, it demonstrates that Alice Guy, arguably the first film director, knew how to make her work stand out at least a little in the vast crowd.
Uris
Uris
Une histoire roulante (1906)

*** (out of 4)

Alice Guy directed this two-minute short, which has an unlucky guy climbing into a large barrell, which soon rolls downhill and causes all sorts of trouble for unsuspecting people. This French film obviously isn't as funny today as it was when it was released but there's no question that it still has enough charm to work today. I'm not going to sit here and say that this was an original idea as there had been other films dealing with the subject matter but this one here was rather creative and especially with its nice use of editing to make sure the barrell did a lot more damage. The film was well-shot for what it was and fans of early cinema should enjoy it.