Review of “L’arroseur arrosé” (1895)

Moving picture, ca. 1 minute

A gardener is watering some plants with a hose. A boy comes along and blocks the flow by stepping on the hose. Puzzled, the gardener peers into the muzzle.

The oldest gag in movies. Generally held to be the earliest live-action fiction film, in the rather abstruse sense of it being the contents of a thin strip of celluloid (literally a film) intended for light to shine through it in such a way as to enlarge a series of photographs of people acting, obtained in real time, onto a big screen. It was projected this way during the first paid performance of the Lumière Cinematographe at a café in Paris; the other nine films were non-fiction. All were shorter than a minute.

moving picture fiction Lumière public debut