1907 was kind of a no brainer year for me. There wasn’t too much to choose from, and essentially I was choosing between films built around a joke (of sorts), so I figured, why not go with this one?
This is a simple film. One that, when shown in film classes during those days when you burn through a bunch of silent films, will always elicit a positive reaction. Basically, the premise is – a guy plays a joke on his nephew at dinner. He puts a bunch of pepper in the kid’s food, causing the kid to start sneezing. And it’s hilarious to him. So, in revenge, the son puts pepper on everything the guy owns. This causes him to sneeze so violently that everything in the room shakes and gets knocked over.
And the rest of the film is nothing but this guy going around different places, sneezing more violently throughout the rest of the day. It’s literally a series of, “Let’s watch the guy sneeze and blow out some windows,” “Now let’s see him blow through a fence.” And it gets increasingly violent and more interesting, to the point where they really start to play with form. (more…)