L’Arroseur Arrosé (1895) Director: Louis Lumière
Also called the “The Sprinkler Sprinkled” in English, L’Arroseur Arrosé is a short (45 second) silent film by Louis Lumière. As with many early silent films it has been called many different names over the years. It was initially screened in 1895. The film features a quick gag in which a young boy plays a prank on an older man who is watering his garden. He steps on the hose, only to release it moments later covering the man’s face in water. This film is one of the earliest examples of narrative film-making, it was shot using Lumière’s Cinematographe. This comedy clip inspired numerous other knock-off films as early copyright laws were not yet established. Georges Méliès, the great magician of early film-making, later remade this movie and many years later François Truffaut paid homage to it in Les Mistons (1958).
Since the film is less than one minute in length (and is important merely for its place in the history of early cinema) I decided not to properly evaluate it. L’Arroseur Arrosé stands alone in a category all its own.