120 years of sf film, part one: 1895-1914 (links galore!)

2015 marks the 120th anniversary of sf cinema. This is the first part of a year-by-year list of films I’d recommend (not always for the same reasons), and there are a few years where there is little to recommend for any reason.

1895
La charcuterie mécanique/The Mechanical Butcher (Louis Lumière)

1897
L’hallucination de l’alchemiste/An Hallucinated Alchemist (Georges Méliès)
Making Sausages (George A. Smith)

1898
La Lune á une mètre/The Astronomer’s Dream (Georges Méliès)

1899
Un bon lit/A Midnight Episode (Georges Méliès) – first giant bug movie, sort of

1900
Chapellerie et charcuterie mécanique/Automated Hat-maker and Sausage-Grinder (Alice Guy-Blaché) – the first sf film made by a woman

1901
L’Homme à la Tête en Caoutchouc/The Man with the Rubber Head (Georges Méliès)
An Over Incubated Baby (Walter R. Booth)

1902
Le voyage dans la lune/A Trip to the Moon (Georges Méliès)
Le Voyage de Gulliver à Lilliput et chez les géants/Gulliver’s Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants (Georges Méliès)

1904
Le voyage à travers l’impossible/The Voyage Across the Impossible (Georges Méliès)
Dog Factory (Edwin S. Porter)

1905
Le Raid Paris-Monte Carlo en deux heures/An Adventurous Automobile Trip (Georges Méliès)

1906
The ‘?’ Motorist (Walter R. Booth)
Rescued in Mid-Air (Percy Stow)

1907 Le dirigeable fantastique/The Inventor Crazybrains and his Wonderful Airship (Georges Méliès)
Deux cent milles sous les mers/Under the Seas (Georges Méliès) – has almost nothing to do with the Jules Verne novel

1908
Photographie électrique à distance/Long Distance Wireless Photography (Georges Méliès)
El Hotel eléctrico (Segundo de Chomón)
Excursion dans la lune/Excursion to the Moon (Segundo de Chomón) – Méliès knock-off
L’Aspirateur/The Vacuum Cleaner (Segundo de Chomón)

1909
The Airship Destroyer (Walter R. Booth)
Hydrothérapie fantastique (Georges Méliès)
Le voleur invisible (Segundo de Chomón)

1910
Frankenstein (J. Searle Dawley)
The Aerial Submarine (Walter R. Booth)
Matrimonio interplanetario/A Marriage in the Moon (Yambo (Enrico Novelli))

1911
The Automatic Motorist (Walter R. Booth)

1912
À la conquête du pole/The Conquest of the Pole (Georges Méliès)
Onésime horloger/Onesime, Clockmaker (Jean Durand)

1913
A Message from Mars (J. Wallet Waller)

1914
Der Golem (Heinrich Galeen)

Part two, 1915-1934

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The first sf film by a woman

Alice Guy-Blaché
Alice Guy-Blaché

I have always semi-relied on Phil Hardy’s Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction for a quick guide to early sf films, beginning with the Louis Lumiere’s La charcuterie mécanique/The Mechanical Butcher from 1895. I have also for year known about Alice Guy-Blaché, the first woman filmmaker and the first woman to own and run a studio, who made over a thousand films between 1896 and 1920 (about a third of which survive) and who until recently has been consistently written out of the history of cinema. Being a little slow-witted, it never occurred to me to crash these things into each other to see what would emerge, and yesterday purely by chance while looking for something else entirely I ran into Chapellerie et charcuterie mécanique/Automated Hat-maker and Sausage-Grinder from 1900. It is one of a number of films that play on the same idea as the La charcuterie mécanique, such as George A. Smith’s Making Sausages (1897) and Edwin S. Porter’s Dog Factory (1904). It is possible that one of Alice Guy-Blaché’s earlier films could be considered science-fictional, but Chez le magnétiseur/At the Hypnotist’s (1897) pushes even my broad definition and I don’t think L’utilité des rayons x (1898) has survived – it sounds promising but I’ve yet to find any information on it.