Best Documentary Movies of 1895
Annabelle Serpentine Dance
Two dancers perform in succession facing a stationary camera. The first is in a diaphanous skirt, held out by her hands with arms extended. She smiles, wearing butterfly wings on her back and the wings of Mercury in her hair. Her dance emphasizes the movement of her visible, bare legs. She kicks high, bows, and moves to her right and left. The second dancer has a voluminous, long skirt, and holds sticks in each hand attached to the skirt's outer edges, so that the emphasis is on the swirling patterns the skirt makes, often obscuring her unsmiling face. Her feet move little on the unadorned stage; changes in the color of the lens filter accent the swirling patterns.
Two children, Ploetz and Larella, perform an Italian peasant dance.
Part of the Wintergartenprogramm.
A man performs tricks on a theatre stage with a bowler hat and a billiards ball in equilibrium on his arms and body.
Eight circus performers known as the Grunato family perform their famous balancing act.
Three dancers do a Russian folkloric step dance, facing the camera, in traditional clothes, fur hats and leather boots.
The two inventors of the Bioskop, a sort of magic lantern that projected images so fast as to give the illusion of movement, bow to the camera at both sides of an empty screen. The scene was shown in continuity, at the end of the session, as if the producers and directors of the session were beading the public a farewell.
Rough Sea at Dover
The surf pounds against a breakwater on which are visible several people standing. The wall looks to be about 20 feet above sea level and extend at least 100 feet into the water. A large wave rolls picturesquely along the wall toward the shore. Smaller waves follow. Then the scene changes to river water flowing. We see both shores: in the foreground a log and tree branch are visible; on the far shore, there appears to be a low wall with trees beyond it. The camera is stationary in both shots.
Billy Edwards and the Unknown
Former lightweight boxer Billy Edwards, now a trainer and writer of the sport, takes on a challenger named Warwick in an exhibition match. The match is scheduled for five rounds of 20 seconds each. A large crowd has gathered behind the ring to watch the fight.
The Boxing Kangaroo
A man and a kangaroo stand up in front of each other with boxing gloves, and simulate a boxing match on a theatre stage.