Whence Does He Come? (1906)

aka D’ou vient-il?
Article 4306 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 9-9-2013
Directed by Ferdinand Zecca
Cast unknown
Country: France
What is it: Trick short

A man in a bathing suit jumps out of the ocean onto a pier, and is followed by the rest of his clothing (which he puts on) and other accessories.

It’s basically a one-trick film; the footage of a man walking backwards up to a pier, tossing into the water his umbrella, dog, pipe and clothing, and then diving in himself is run backwards. I’m not sure whether this one was meant to mystify or amuse; you’d think that the backwards footage trick had been used enough up to that point that it wouldn’t surprise anyone. Yet, when I think of it, I actually haven’t seen backwards footage used that often in the early days of cinema, and I also wonder if the date may be correct. At any rate, we have another silent trick film on hand.

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