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DUNCAN AND ANOTHER, BLACKSMITH SHOP

(Edison Manufacturing Company, USA, 1891)

Produced by: William K.L. Dickson, William Heise

Starring: James C. Duncan

Runtime: 0:15 min.

Rated: U

Illo Tempore Film Awards history

Edison Manufacturing Company (William K.L. Dickson, William Heise) - Nominee, Best Picture

James C. Duncan - Winner, Best Actor

William K.L. Dickson - Nominee, Best Producer

James C. Duncan - Nominee, Best Breakthrough (actor) 


Review by Aaron Time

        Duncan and Another, Blacksmith Shop is one of the two most nominated productions at the 1st Illo Tempore Film Awards, by obtaining four references. The production is the second part of a trilogy which has James C. Duncan as the main hero.

        The picture presents an incident in a Blacksmith Shop between Duncan and another character whose name has been lost in time. Heat and smoke seem to appear as the prime elements for creating the atmosphere of the production. The interaction between the two is obviously imposed, and so a bizarre form of acting is conceptualised.

        The film, produced at Edison Laboratory in the beginning of summer, remained of little interest even in the early years. It seems to have been overshadowed by the other two productions, particularly due to the fact that the performers are second to the setting, and as a result the perceptibility of action seems to be diminished. In spite of all that, Duncan And Another has given a strong riposte to the need for grandiosity in the moving pictures. The concept of film as both entertaining and grand was under development in this small production, even in the first year of film. 

        James C. Duncan (Duncan Smoking) obtained the nomination for Best Actor and Best Breakthrough for this particular production, and not for his famous scene in which he enjoys smoking a pipe. In Blacksmith Shop, Duncan portrayed more than just the naturalness of human emotions in an act of pleasure. He managed a smooth transition from a documentary performer to a film actor. It needs to be remembered that Duncan is one of the first individuals to be considered an actor in the more modern terms. He was paid, and before the actual appearance on tape he was unknown to the general public, unlike some of the other figures of the early years who were reasonably familiar to the viewers by the time they appeared in a film. The performer created a character, and that is what makes his presence in Duncan And Another, Blacksmith Shop so special. 

        Overall, the film lacks any essence of artistic value, and is thus a piece of work that requires dedication from the viewer in order to be accepted as good. 

★☆☆☆☆

 


Copyright Illo Tempore Film Awards 2003. The copyrights of the pictures are kept with the authors.

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