Fred Ott, one of Thomas Edison's assistants, sneezes on camera. With that simple and succinct premise, we have one of the earliest films ever made! In fact, the fabricated title card is longer than the film itself and yet this is without a doubt the most famous sneeze of all time.
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This film is a sham. What is Mr. Ott putting in his nostril as the film begins? Are we expected to set aside our afternoon to admire a simple autonomic reaction to snuff? Is that handkerchief just for show? It certainly doesn't seem to be for stopping flying germs.
Priority is something, but the would-be connoisseur of the sneeze on film will want to move past this early effort and revel in the mastery of Eisenstein's "Flu Season: Ten Sneezes that Shook the World" or Maya Deren's exquisite "Sneezes of an Afternoon" -- both soon, I hope, to come to Fandor.
A non-stop action thrill ride!