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One of the finest examples of the Lumières’ dynamic staging of documentary action, CARMAUX: DRAWING OUT THE COKE employs contrasting angles and depths in picturing a factory’s routine. Workers in the foreground spray and rake a steaming brick of coke as it emerges for a smelter while men in the background push giant carts of coal across the top horizontal strip of the frame. The resulting film is as playful as it is descriptive.

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