346. The History of Cinema – John Halas


SUMMARY: A brief history of cinema depicted through a series of satirical jokes.

WHY IT’S HERE: Halas and Batchelor’s ‘The History of the Cinema’ is a satire on film-making that seems relatively harmless but apparently upset several people in the industry, perhaps because it was chosen for the Royal Command Film Performance, thereby giving it a higher profile. Largely made up of a series of enjoyable blackout gags, ‘The History of Cinema’ does have some teeth, specifically in its satire on the depiction of Native Americans in film, something that was rarely being touched upon in 1957. Overall, it is reminiscent of the work of Bruno Bozzetto or later comic microcosms such as Michael Mills’ Oscar nominated ‘The History of the World in Three Minutes Flat’.


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