British photographic history

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Nadar & Chevreul: Recreating the first photo interview the Aussie way (Video Update)

UPDATE: You can view the video using the link on this page here or here.

In Paris 1886, the world's first media interview took place when the great photographer Felix Nadar interviewed the scientist and sceptic, Michel Chevreul, on his 100th birthday. The two men discussed photography, colour theory, Moliere and Pasteur, the scientific method, the crazy ideas of balloonists, and – of course – how to live for 100 years. It was a lively and interesting conversation between two legends of the 19th century: one born before the French revolution; the other destined to see the marvels of the aeroplane and the movies.

The photographs and the original words were published in Le Journal illustré (Paris) on September 5, 1886. As a series of unposed portraits it is remarkable; as a photographic and stenographic record of an interesting and sophisticated conversation from 1886 it is unique.

Now with the technology of the 21st century, ABC network in Australia has recreated 'The First Interview' as if a talking movie was filmed in the 19th century. It is being shown tonight at 10:05pm on ABC1. (Sorry guys, don't think we can tune in here unless they have an equivalent 'iPlayer' facility, but even then, due to copyright reasons don't think that would be permissible.) Perhaps Aussie BPH members can comment on this documentary.

Photo: ABC, Australia.

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