The Early Cinema: Flouting Authority

 

Here's an example of a trick film that flouts the boss's authority

Watch as the typist gets revenge for sexual harrasment. Notice that the camera never moves. A modern film maker might use dozens of shots to convey the same sketch. These films owed a lot to the conventions of the stage--vaudeville and even burlesque--and they tended to treat the movie frame as a stage instead of the sort of open space of the imagination we're used to today.

This theme--authority figures humiliated or trounced--shows up a lot in the early cinema, which catered primarily to a working class audience