Employess Leaving the Lumiere Factory: Short French Classic Remade by Almodovar and others

Almosovar shot a remake of the 1895 French classic, “Employees Leaving the Lumière Factory,” in France’s Lyon.

Credited as the first mass audience movie ever made, “Employees” was 40-seconds long, showing workers streaming out of the factory gates to left and right, a horse-cart leaving, a man on a bicycle, a stray dog.

Working from the same camera placement as the original, Almodóvar’s movie can be seen as not only a remake but a reappraisal of the Lumière brothers work, which is credited far more for its documentary record than for its notable aesthetic qualities.

“Obsessed by symmetry,” Almodovar has his figures walking in lines of five towards the camera, according to the Lumière Fest Daily Rue du Premièr-Film.

Paulo Sorrentino took a more romantic approach, dressing Rossy de Palma, Berenice Bejo, Isabella Rossellini and Marisa Paredes in period hats, with Almodóvar suddenly appearing into view behind them.

Dolan’s short includes Keanu Reeves, John McTiernan, Edgar Ramirez. Thierry Freamaux, Bertrand Tavernier and Elena Anaya, his “workers” leaves the portal filming themselves with their smart-phones.

Dolan said he’d like everybody to send him the films, but not because they’d necessarily be great cinema.  “I want to show what films looks like when one is only interested in oneself and the instantaneous character of new technologies rather then taking the time to step back.”