Archive for August 16, 2014

Wordsworth Donisthorpe

Posted in FILM with tags on August 16, 2014 by dcairns


“I just like the sound of it!” as Jack Nicholson says in BATMAN. Try it yourself: one Wordsworth Donisthorpe before breakfast. You’ll always sound precocious.

I have invented a lie about Wordsworth Donisthorpe. Now read on.

I learned of Wordsworth Donisthorpe in Bologna from Mark Fuller, who knows his early cinema. Wordsworth Donisthorpe was a film pioneer, but he was so busy with being a renaisance man that he couldn’t put in the hours that might have nudged him ahead of the Edisons and Lumieres. But in 1876 he tried to patent a “kinesigraph” and successfully filmed some traffic in 1890.

All that survives of Wordsworth Donisthorpe’s street scene are a few frames, which you can view here. So, my lie is that we can say that Wordsworth Donisthorpe invented the GIF.

The Great Art of Light and Shadow: Archaeology of the Cinema (Exeter Studies in Film History)