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.
This is a silent film
More like this...
Directed by Bert Haldane, 1914
Inventive WWI propaganda in which a rejected volunteer foils a German plot to blow up Parliament.
A muted newsreel tribute to Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand - victim of an assassin's bullet in an event that would soon take Europe to war.
Rural China seen through the lens of a British amateur filmmaker in the 1930s.
Extraordinary and exquisite views of life and landscape in Beijing during the late Qing dynasty.
A beautifully photographed trip back to the Shanghai of the 1930s, with views of the Bund's busy harbourside.
The campaign for women's suffrage steps up as Emmeline Pankhurst is arrested at the gates of Buckingham Palace.
Scenes of panic on the streets of Shanghai as Chinese citizens seek protection from Communist and Kuomintang violence behind Allied barricades.
In an extensive 30-minute interview with longtime admirer Jonathan Ross, Jackie Chan discusses the changing nature of Chinese cinema over the course of his long career.
Enjoy a preview of the exciting films we’ve got in store for you on the BFI Player.