Shortwave: Old Man Drinking a Glass of Beer (1898)

The British comedian Tom Green–no, not that one–drinks a glass of bear for director G.A. Smith. The vaudeville star was paid 10 shillings for performing a “facial,” a routine whose humor depended on the contortions of his face. Lord knows what those sitting at the back row of the Palladium must have made of it before film come along. Smith was a Brighton stage hypnotist and magician who became an early cinema pioneer. As the new technology came to Britain, he invented his own camera and projection system. His neighbor ames Williamson had also been bitten by the cinema bug and together they made numerous shorts like the above. (via BFI)

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