Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Great Moments In Feline Cinema History: "The Sick Kitten" (1903)

I recently came across a cool short film from 1903 called "The Sick Kitten," which once again proves that cat videos were popular way before the internet came along. In the clip, directed by G.A. Smith, a boy playing a doctor brings over a bottle of fish medicine, which a girl then administers to a sick kitten, who hungrily laps it off a spoon.

One of the most interesting tidbits I came across about the 35 second clip, is that it's possibly the first example of a close-up being used to focus on action, rather than to simulate the view through a magnifying glass or microscope. According to BFI Screenonline, "Smith believed that his audience would have grown more sophisticated and would be able to tell the difference between a medium shot and close-up without prompting."

Another fun factoid? Despite its short length, a continuity blooper appears around midway through the film. If you look closely, you'll notice that the aforementioned close-up reveals that the girl is not wearing the same pinafore she had on in the full shot!



Layla Morgan Wilde ( Cat Wisdom 101) said...

Thanks for the extra tidbit. I hadn't noticed the blooper before. The really early sepia "LOL" cats are fun to play with. I'm colorizing and having fun modernizing them including one for our 1st anniversary this week.

enigmachine said...

In black and white, and with more speed, almost everything looks funnier :)
Of course, it never hurts to feature a cat :)

NonnyMus said...

The "FISIK" on the medicine bottle is a humorous misspelling of "physik", which is an old-fashioned word for medicine. It's not fish medicine.

My guess is that they were feeding the kitten milk from the spoon.

I like how the mama cat makes sure her kitten is o.k. near the beginning of the short!

Catsparella said...

@NonnyMus Wow, that's so interesting! Thank you for catching that! :)


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