This film is part of Free

Are You There?

Innovative early film, which invents its own 'split-screen' effect

Comedy 1901 1 mins Silent


A young man's telephone call to his sweetheart is intercepted by her father, so instead of her kisses he gets the business end of the old man's umbrella. James Williamson was a clever filmmaker, who drew on his magic lantern show experience to create inventive use in films. In Are You There?, he divides the screen space in two to simultaneously represent both sides of the telephone conversation - effectively a 'split screen' effect achieved by means of a clever set. Genius.

Williamson's The Big Swallow, one of the most striking films of its time, was made the same year as Are You There?, and the two films share the same actor, Sam Dalton.