Cartoon Map of Europe in 1914
A German cartoon from 1914 showing the lay of the political land as seen from the German perspective at the outbreak of World War One. As the text below the picture states, Germany and the Austro-Hungary Empire defend “blows from all sides”, particularly from the east in the form of a huge snarling Russian face. To the right of the image a banner declares that 10% of the proceeds of the map’s sale will go toward the Red Cross. The map is accompanied by a contemporary version of a French woodcut depicting a very different looking Europe of 1870.
The images are from the Berlin State Library and are featured as part of the wonderful new project from Europeana, “Europeana, 1914-18” which is marking 100 years since the outbreak of WW1 with a remarkable pan-European pooling of material, from both individuals and institutions, relating to the “Great War”.
– See more at: http://publicdomainreview.org/2014/01/29/cartoon-map-of-europe-in-1914/#sthash.QPcHDjer.dpuf
Cohl made “Fantasmagorie” from February to May or June 1908. This is considered the first fully animated film ever made. It was made up of 700 drawings, each of which was double-exposed (animated “on twos”), leading to a running time of almost two minutes. Despite the short running time, the piece was packed with material devised in a “stream of consciousness” style. It borrowed from Blackton in using a “chalk-line effect” (filming black lines on white paper, then reversing the negative to make it look like white chalk on a black chalkboard), having the main character drawn by the artist’s hand on camera, and the main characters of a clown and a gentleman (this taken from Blackton’s “Humorous Phases of Funny Faces”). The film, in all of its wild transformations, is a direct tribute to the by-then forgotten Incoherent movement. The title is a reference to the “fantasmograph”, a mid-Nineteenth Century variant of the magic lantern that projected ghostly images that floated across the walls.
“Fantasmagorie” was released on August 17, 1908. This was followed by two more films, “Le Cauchemar du fantoche” [“The Puppet’s Nightmare”, now lost] and “Un Drame chez les fantoches” [“A Puppet Drama”, called “The Love Affair in Toyland” for American release and “Mystical Love-Making” for British release], all completed in 1908. These three films are united by their chalk-line style, the stick-figure clown protagonists, and the constant transformations. Cohl made the plots of these films up as he was filming them. He would put a drawing on the lightbox, photograph it, trace onto next sheet with slight changes, photograph that, and so on. This meant that the pictures did not jitter and the plot was spontaneous. Cohl had to calculate the timing in advance. The process was demanding and time-consuming, which is probably why he moved away from drawn animation after “Un Drame chez les fantoches”.
Emile Courtet was born in Paris in 1857 and adopted the pseudonym Cohl when he was 20 . He only began to take an interest in the cinema in 1907 – a year that marked a turning point in what was already a productive life and career.
Between the ages of 18 and 50, Cohl plied a large number of trades. He worked mainly in satiric illustration (he was friend and disciple of André Gill), cartoons, journalism, and also theater and photography.
What is interesting in Cohl’s work is that, in addition to having invented the animated cartoons with his “Fantasmagorie” (a magic lantern term), projected on August 17, 1908 at the Théâtre de Gymnase in Paris, he gave animation a sense of poetry, a plethora of innovations, and made it an art in its own right, dubbed by some as the “eighth art,” which combined cinema, drawing and painting. Thanks to the intellectual experiences of his youth, Cohl gave free rein to his imagination and made films in which critics have discerned the influence of cubism, but also the premises of Dadaism and Surrealism.
He innovated with the creation of the first animation hero, Fantoche. He made the first puppet animation film, the first animation films in color, the first animated commercial, the first animation films based on comic strips. He used paper cutouts, and often combined images, animated objects, pixillation, and layering with real-life footagewithin the same film.
The Hasher’s Delirium (1910)
The Automatic Moving Company (1912)
Émile Cohl at IMDB, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0169871/