The Cameraman’s Revenge is a Russian animation from 1912, directed by Ladislas Starevich, in which he uses stop motion animated dead insects to tell a slightly baffling tale of infidelity, voyeurism and revenge, for some reason.
Two beetles in a loveless marriage run off whenever they can to have affairs, one with an artist (another beetle), the other with a showgirl (a dragonfly), while the projectionist at the local cinema (he’s a grasshopper, I think) uses his camera to film the showgirl’s affair through the keyhole in the hotel door.
Then there’s just about enough time for some fist fights and confrontations and other odd convolutions of plot before we reach the end.
Anyway, and unsurprisingly, I liked this a lot. The animation’s great (although the picture quality is terrible, so obscures a lot of it), there’s some wonderful touches (especially when everyone goes to the cinema and their watching the scenes we’ve already seen projected onto their little cinema screen), and it’s surprisingly prescient in it’s prediction of mobile phone and hidden camera voyeurism, although the idea that the local cinema would be where you showed all this rather than on the grottier corners of the internet is quite wide of the mark.
1. I watched this on youtube.
2. There’s probably other versions available.
3. And hopefully better quality ones somewhere (although I didn’t find any).
4. This is one of the problems of watching old films on the internet, all the general degradations of film over time combined with video conversion fuzziness and youtube compression artefacts until everything’s a complete visual mess.
5. Which is a shame, because I expect this looked incredible at the time.
Title: The Cameraman’s Revenge
Director: Ladislas Starevich
Duration: 13 minutes