Lanterna Magicka

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Year 2001
Minutes 61
Location United Kingdom

An insightful look into the life and work of Bill Douglas. Besides being an accomplished filmmaker [one of his classics being “Comrades”], he became keenly interested in early optical devices that predated but complimented the early development of cinema techniques. They mirror and anticipate the creation of the slide and film projectors and the early contributions of people like the Lumiere Brothers. Over a period of thirty years, Bill Douglas discovered and collected pre-cinema optical devices including Magic Lanterns, Thaumatropes, Praxinoscopes, Zoetropes, and Phenakistoscopes; little mechanical wonders dating back to the 19th century that attracted general audiences by evoking a sense of magic stimulating the public’s sensibilities and imagination. Taken together, the story of these remarkable but under-appreciated visual contraptions form what the documentary suggests: A secret history of film. Directors Sean Martin & Louise Milne. Writers Sean Martin & Louise Milne. Producers Sean Martin & Louise Milne. Cinematography Sean Martin. Editing Louise Milne, Nick Soldan. Sound Nick Soldan. Visual Effects Peter Gerard. Additional Photography Nick Gibbon, Yorgos Karagiannakis. Production Assistant Nicholas Mark Harding.

Price $3.99

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