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Quoi de neuf ?
Ferdinand Zecca in full flight

Well, for the moment, everything is new. I make a start (quite arbitrarily) in 1910 with sections on topcicalities (« actualités » in French) and documentaries (a term already in use in France well before this time), two genres whose importance is still often underestimated and which are often lumped together misleadingly with "composed views" under the meaningless term "actualities" in English. The information for that year will gradually be expanded and occasional links added to equivalent categories in other years. Every time a new section is added, the fact will be recorded here. I shall also acknowledge help received from others and reply as best I can to any comments or questions.

Progress is painfully slow but is there, even if not always immediately perceptible to the naked eye.There are six pages now rather than the original three. In addition to the general introduction to 1910, and the "news film" and already in place, there are now sections on "popular science" and "disaster films made during the same year.

The former records the arrival in the US of F. Percy Smith's sensatioal The Acrobatic Fly (1908) and gives an account of the somewhat drier, academic work of Dr.Jean Comandon at Pathé. But if Comandon's films were largely of cellular activity seen under a microscope, Comandon was beginning to appreciate the more "popular" aspects that such work might have as well as the wider social consequences of it. The section is mainly devoted to an account of the history of "sleeping sickness", an African killer disease whose origins lay with a group of parasites known as "trypanosomes".

This is also the time when British bird-photographer Oliver Pike and US herpetologist and zoo-keeper Raymond L. Ditmars both began their work for Pathé.

The "disaster film" section deals for the moment just with the film coverage of the Paris floods of January 1910 (the worst since 1656).

For those who have discovered how to manipulate the side menu (a little red arrrow indicated a drop-down menu), the first page devoted to the film production of a specific country is now in place. It is not perhaps te mst widely known film-producer of that or any epoch; it is the Duchy of Luxemburg.

I continue to work on the existing pages and the section on documentary has already filled out a little and will fill out more as time goes by. There is much more to come on "industrial film" and this section may in time warrant a separate page of its own.

I hope soon to also put up the initial pages for 1909 (general introduction, newsreel and documentary), so there is a bit more scope for cross-reference. And I have not altogether forgotten the more entertaining aspects of cinema. I am working on a page devoted to the fantastique (this was the year of the second Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Danish) and the first Frankenstein (Searle Dawley, of course, for Edison). I am also embarking on two of the occasional sub-sections devoted to the careers of particular artistes and will begin with the established super-star Max Linder, then at the height of his glory, and with Mary Pickford, still just a débutante in 1910.

I implore yur patience. Tout vient à point à qui sait attendre.