Carmencita (1894)


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Carmencita (1894) *** 1/2 (out of 4)Infamous Edison short, which features the title dancer, quite famous at the time, doing one of her dances. The film runs only 24-seconds but who today could really imagine how much trouble this film would get into with such a short running time.

Here and there you find a short movie which may have been not considerably better if they had music and color available back in the last years of the 19th century, but this one is pretty much the exact opposite. Carmencita is still showing us a nice dance and giving us a beautiful smile, but the effect of this one would have been so much better with the wild Spanish or Latin music she was listening and colors that make her gorgeous dress look even more majestic.

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"Carmencita" was not only one of the first vaudeville acts Edison filmed for his Kinetoscope ("Sandow No. 1" was the very first), it also appears to contain the earliest appearance of a woman in an American film.

Watching a film like this, it becomes fairly obvious that from the very first days of the cinema the camera was to be given a voyeuristic male eye. Filmed before projectors had been invented, this 24-second short would have been viewed in a dedicated parlour through one of Edison's kinetoscopes.

Objectively, there's nothing really WRONG with this film. It sets out to do something extremely simple, and it achieves that goal flawlessly, but that goal isn't really compelling unless one accounts for the film's age.

"Carmencita Dancing," one of a series of Edison short films featuring circus and vaudeville acts, displayed the... um...

This is the first movie in what quickly became one of the most popular genres in the earliest years of motion pictures. Many of Edison's earliest Kinetoscope films featured popular dancers, the best known probably being Annabelle (Whitford) Moore.

This film is part of the series of short Edison films featuring circus and vaudeville acts. Subject in this movie is the American dancer Carmencita.