The Sunday Intertitle: It’s the sudden stop at the bottom.

I found this while researching an online film archive — checked to see if it was on YouTube — OF COURSE it was.

There’s no reason to watch this film, except to see a horrific tragedy play out with uncanny comic timing. Franz Reichelt was an inventor and tailor who got permission to dive off the Eiffel tower wearing a parachute costume of his own devising — it seems to work on the principle of the flying squirrel, or rather, it seems to want to work on that principle. Instead, all Reichelt invents is a new technique for making six inch deep humanoid indentations in a public lawn.

Anyhow, I was stunned, horrified, amused and guilt-ridden by the above film, which is the first and hopefully the last snuff movie you’ll see on Shadowplay.

9 Responses to “The Sunday Intertitle: It’s the sudden stop at the bottom.”

  1. Reminiscent of the time I saw a gruesome motorcycle accident, where a passenger got pitched off right in between the two segments of elevated freeway to land in a lot about 60 feet below. A freelance press photographer friend breathlessly told me “I got pictures of the body!!” I asked him, “What for? You can’t sell them”.

  2. Something very Edward Gorey about this.

  3. Randy Cook Says:

    The fall is good, but the 80 seconds leading up to it are brilliant.

  4. I doubt we’ll see that Franz Reichelt tag used again.

  5. Just for that, I’m going to try and work old Franz into every post from now on.

    Those newsreel guys knew a thing or two about milking suspense.

    Fiona reckons she can read Franz’s mind, and he’s thinking, “This is stupid. I’ve made a terrible mistake. I’m going to die. But… the newsreel guys are here, I can’t back out now…”

  6. Now that’s a SENSIBLE flying harness. Made of sturdy metal.

  7. Jeffrey H Says:

    What a strange coincidence. Just last night, in Bloomington, Illinois, I saw comedian Stewart Huff do a bit that included a detailed account of this very incident. I read this blog regularly, and I’m usually content just reading, but this was a bit too weird to let go.

  8. Welcome! And don’t be a stranger!

    Since I started reading Ulysses my life has been an unending carnival of synchronicity, so I’m glad to see it’s being transmitted abroad too!

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