Snowballs (1901) (2 mins)

One of the rare fiction titles in the BFI's Mitchell and Kenyon collection, this is a comic sketch which takes place in a snowy exterior against a stage backdrop. Some boys make mischief by ambushing passers-by with snowballs. It's not clear whether the snow is real, but it's certainly convincingly powdery as the fight gets increasingly boisterous. The policeman doesn't come off well.

This film has been labelled as from Glasgow, but we have no clues as to who commissioned it, who the players were or where the filming might have taken place. Mitchell and Kenyon had made some fiction films on a stage attached to their photographic shop in Blackburn and had an arrangement to borrow costumes from E.H. Page, proprietor of the town's Lyceum Theatre. It's likely that the stage scenery came from the same source. At this early date it wasn't possible to film in the low lighting conditions of a theatre, so this would have had to be shot outdoors.

Credits

This is a silent film

1901

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