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The Cinema Museum

Tuesday 24th March 2020, 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Doors open: 6:30am

Price: £5.00
(£5.50 including booking fee)


About KINOTEKA Polish Film Festival presentation of Biopleograph: An Experimental Reconstruction

“Gentlemen, this man is the leader in cinematography, I am the second,” said Louis Lumière about one of the early pioneers of the film camera. No, he wasn’t talking about his brother, but about the Polish inventor Kazimierz Proszynski. Back in 1894 – a year before the Lumière Brothers presented their famous cinematograph on the world stage – Proszynski constructed his own film camera for taking photos and projecting moving images: the ‘pleograph’. Just four years later, the Pole refined his design and invented a new device with reduced flicker. This ‘biopleograph’ would prove to be a milestone in Polish cinema history, eventually being used in 1902 to shoot the first Polish fictional film, the one-minute long The Return of the Reveller.

Proszynski continued to innovate, with devices such as the handheld aeroscope camera enjoying significant commercial success. Yet with the outbreak of World War II, the inventor and his family were persecuted by the occupying German forces; his creations and films lost among the destruction of Warsaw. In 2017, the National Centre for Film Culture in Lodz embarked on a project aiming to reconstruct the biopleograph. With the help of scarce notes and only two photos of the original apparatus, industry expert Janusz Król was able to recreate a full-functional device. The project team then used the reconstructed biopleograph, alongside a 35mm film camera from 1908 and a contemporary digital camera, to reshoot Proszynski’s The Return of the Reveller.

In partnership with the National Centre for Film Culture in Lodz, we are delighted to present the results of this remarkable project as part of the KINOTEKA Polish Film Festival. The project team will show a making-of film, present the biopleograph itself, and screen the reshot version of The Return of the Reveller.

Doors open at 18.30 for a 19.30 start.

Refreshments will be available in our licensed cafe/bar.

The Cinema Museum

2 Dugard Way,
Renfrew Road,
SE11 4TH


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