On December 28, 1895, cinema as we know it began in Paris with the first public screening of the Lumière Brothers’ “La Sortie de l’Usine Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory in Lyon),” and the rest, as they say, was history. The past 120 years have seen technological breakthroughs and global distribution plans explode in ways the Lumières could have never predicted, but their urge to capture the impossible and keep reinventing the medium has lived on.
To commemorate 120 years of cinema, YouTube creators Moon Film have put together an epic supercut stringing together over a century’s worth of cinema into a thrilling 120 seconds. Starting with a brief overview of the processes that led to cinema (including Nicéphore Niépce’s oldest surviving photograph from 1826 to Charles-Émile Reynaud’s Théâtre optique in 1892), the supercut then dives through 75 of the most essential pieces of filmmaking ever made. From Edwin S. Porter’s “The Great Train Robbery” to Fritz Lang’s “M,” Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times,” Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Boulevard,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” and Joss Whedon’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the supercut proves just how far cinema has come in terms of technology, genre and ambition.
Check out the supercut above, and here’s wishing cinema a very happy 120th birthday.