This Film Is More Than 100 Years Old

Moonshine (1918)

In Moonshine, Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton play some sort of government agents trying to capture illegal bootleggers making, well, moonshine out in the hills somewhere. It’s brilliant.

There’s a kind of manic energy to everything here, and a lot of inventiveness throughout. Condense this down to six minutes, animate it, and replace Fatty Arbuckle with a rabbit of some kind and you’d have something pretty good, I reckon.



1. I watched this on blu-ray. The version I took the screenshots from seems to be an exact copy of that one.

2. With the same captions.

3. Of which there are a lot.

4. Including a lot of self-referentiality

5. Which is nice.

6. And builds well into the ending.

7. Which I loved.

8. And which reminded me of David Lynch again (Lost Highway, this time).

9. I hope I have accidentally discovered his secret source of inspiration now.

10. And the key to understanding everything.

11. Also, it’s kind of a shame that this one is the worst quality restoration so far (switching, sometimes frame by frame, between looking absolutely pristine and hauntingly ghostly), as a lot of the good visual gags sometimes get lost in the murk.


Film Information

Title: Moonshine
Director: Fatty Arbuckle
Year: 1918
Duration: 18 minutes
Watch: Youtube

This Film Is More Than 100 Years Old

A Woman Undressing (1896)

A Woman Undressing is apparently the oldest known piece of British film erotica. Filmed in 1896 by Esmé Collings, it is almost exactly a minute of a woman undressing, although, such was the clothing style at the time, that’s still not enough time for the woman to actually get undressed.

I very much like the matryoshka element of the display, dresses under skirts under dresses, some sort of Hadean nightmare where no matter how many layers you remove you’re never any closer to getting ready for bed.

So wonder she sits down and sighs at the end. She’s probably got another fifteen slips to remove before she can leave.


1. I watched this on the BFI site as usual.

2. I was somewhat afraid to google for alternate links

3. But it turns out it was okay

4. Although the youtube version I found has the world’s worst musical accompaniment.

5. When obviously it should have been this


Film Information

Title: A Woman Undressing
Director: Esmé Collings
Year: 1896
Duration: 1 minute
Watch: BFI Player; youtube