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Devices of CuriosityEarly Cinema and Popular Science$
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Oliver Gaycken

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199860685

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860685.001.0001

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“A Drama Unites Them in a Fight to the Death”

“A Drama Unites Them in a Fight to the Death”

The Flourishing of Popular-Science Films in France, 1909–1914

(p.90) {Chapter 3} “A Drama Unites Them in a Fight to the Death”
Devices of Curiosity

Oliver Gaycken

Oxford University Press

At the turn of the 1910s, French production companies produced a large number of popular-science films. This chapter provides a comparative analysis of popular-science films produced by Pathé, Gaumont, and Éclair. This survey leads to a detailed analysis of a number of films, especially Le Scorpion Languedocien, whose borrowings, particularly from Jean-Henri Fabre’s ethological writings, serve as an example of the frequent intertextual links that characterize this kind of filmmaking. The chapter also contains a discussion of recurring tendencies in the French popular-science films of this period, which frequently involve animal violence. The chapter concludes with a consideration of how popular-science films were programmed in multiple-film programs.

Keywords:   Pathé, Gaumont, Éclair, Jean-Henri Fabre, animal violence, program format, intertextuality

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