Kinoscope Parlour

2012 | Birds of Paradise UK Tour

Arnolfini Bristol:
5 – 11 March 2012

Glasgow Film Theatre:
12 – 18 March 2012

Designed by Mark Garside, the Kinoscope is a contemporary re-imagining of the kinetoscope invented by Thomas Edison and W.K.L. Dickson in the early 1890s. Arranged in ‘parlours’, the kinetoscope was the first publically installed device for viewing short films and the first to exhibit the iconic serpentine dances à la Loïe Fuller in colour. Using digital technology, Fashion in Film’s Kinoscope Parlour showcases mesmerising costume manipulations and magical transformations from the early film period.

Annabelle Butterfly Dance No.3
USA 1895. Dir William Heise, Edison Manufacturing Company.
Black and white.
Star of many early films produced by the Edison Manufacturing Company, Annabelle Whitford Moore performs a lively dance dressed as a butterfly.

The Pearl Fisher (Le Pêcheur de perles)
France 1907. Dir Ferdinand Zecca, Pathé Frères.
A diver encounters strange and marvellous creatures in an underwater kingdom. The film is remarkable for its opulently decorated sets.

The Butterflies (Le Farfalle)
Italy 1907. Dir unknown. Società Anonima Cines.
Tinted and hand-coloured.
Geishas dance and play with a butterfly woman whom they have imprisoned within a cage. Her lover comes to rescue her, only to find himself defeated by the group. A butterfly revenge ensues.

A Butterfly’s Changes (La Métamorphose du papillon)
France 1904. Dir Gaston Velle, Pathé Frères.
A caterpillar transforms into a butterfly woman whose fluttering wings change colour.

The Pillar of Fire (La Danse du feu)
France 1899. Dir Georges Méliès, Star Films.
Based on H. Rider Haggard’s novel She, a demon conjures a woman wearing a voluminous white dress who performs a ‘serpentine’ dance.

Danse du Papillon
France 1900. Dir Alice Guy-Blaché, Gaumont.
A Loïe Fuller imitator performs in a butterfly-painted costume in this beautifully coloured film.

The Red Spectre (La Spectre Rouge)
France 1907. Dir Segundo de Chomón, Pathé Frères.
In a dark cavern a devil-like magician performs a series of tricks putting to great use his spectacular cloak.

Tit for Tat (La Peine du Talion)
France 1906. Dir Gaston Velle, Pathé Frères.
Sumptuously winged insects seek revenge for the injustices brought about by the practice of lepidoptery: the catching of species of butterflies and moths for the purposes of observation.