What we see in a telescope

What we see in a telescope is a British film by George Albert Smith , made in 1900 .

In this movie, George Albert Smith makes the first attempt to use a close-up inside a larger shot (half-way shot) to explain what a voyeur spies. A process of shooting and editing that he takes again the same year in a fundamental film of the history of the language of the cinema: The magnifying glass of grandma .

George Albert Smith is part of the Brighton School .


An old man, sitting on a stool in the street with his telescope, observes the sky and lowers his instrument to a scene that takes place in the street and which interests him to the highest point: a gallant man helps a beautiful cyclist to put on the saddle, and doing so, takes the opportunity to caress his calf (seen in close-up in a round cut). The cyclist starts, the gallant, having seen the voyeur, passes close to him and jostles the stool, causing his fall.

Technical sheet

  • Original title: As Seen Through a Telescope
  • French title: What we see in a telescope
  • Quebec title: The Indiscreet Astronomer
  • Director: George Albert Smith
  • Production: GAS Films
  • Format: 35mm double set of 4 Edison perforations per frame, black and white, mute
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Release date: United Kingdom 1900

Historical Importance

“This first assembly experiment was ahead of most filmmakers of the time, and in retrospect, it appears to be the first stone foundations of film language as we understand today 1 . ”

“While William Kennedy Laurie Dickson , William Heise , Louis Lumière , Alexander Promio , Alice Guy , George Méliès , in short, the inventors of primitive cinema, do not depart from the habit, both photographic and scenic, to turn a only shooting to film a single action in the same place, George Albert Smith, will describe a single action taking place in the same place, using several shots that are linked together by the only logic visual. What will be called later the cutting, the cutting into shots of space to film. George Albert Smith understood that the plan is the creative unit of film 2 . ”

Related Articles

  • School of Brighton
  • George Albert Smith
  • History of cinema
  • Mute cinema

External links

  • in ) What we see in a telescope [ archive ] on the Internet Movie Database

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Michael Brooke, “As Seen Through a Telescope” http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/id/444530/  [ archive ] , accessed 10/13/2013
  2. ↑ Marie-France Briselance and Jean-Claude Morin , film grammar , Paris, New World ,, 588 p. ( ISBN  978-2-84736-458-3 ) , p.  67-68

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