Rochers de la Vierge

Year1896 Duration3 min. DirectorAuguste Lumière, Louis Lumière WriterAuguste Lumière, Louis Lumière PhotographyAuguste Lumière, Louis Lumière

Lumière negative. Silent film

The magic of the filmmaker lit up the French Basque Country almost from the day of this invention. If the historical projection of the Lumière brothers in the Gran Café on the Boulevard de los Capuchinos in Paris dates back to 1895, Biarritz hosts the new invention in the summer of 1896 whilst other Basque cities, such as  Bilbao, Vitoria or San Sebastian did so soon afterwards. The first recorded to do so is Rochers de la Vierge. The cameras took pictures of this famous landscape in Biarritz in June 1896, even before the first exhibition of the Lumière invention in the town itself. Although there is news of other pioneering recordings, such as those taken by Hugens in July 1896, Rochers de la Vierge is the only piece that is conserved today. This first film will be accompanied by a sister film, Biarritz Port Vieux, filmed just a few years later where once more the film industry’s initial interest was to capture the movement of things.
A note from Lumière: "These rocks, close to Biarritz, are very well known. The scene shows the rough sea hitting his feet. There are no characters".

Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière

(Besançon, 1862 – Lyon, 1954)
(Besançon, 1864 – Bandol, 1948)

Considered as the inventors of film in spite of the fact that there were already prior procedures to project images in movement, the Lumière brothers went down in history on 28th December 1895 at the Grand Café on Boulevard des Capucines in Paris as organising the first public screening of a film.  On this day, they officially invented film. They did so through documentary, with the filming of everyday life in films such as Leaving the Lumière Factory, Arrival of a Train at Ciotat Station or The Gardener. Although the Lumière brothers did not see the economic potential of film, they did not stop filming throughout the world until they each followed their own path in 1903.


Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory (1895)
Fishing for Goldfish
The Photographical Congress Arrives in Lyon
The blacksmiths
Baby's meal
Démolition d’ un mur
The Sprinkler Sprinkled
Entrée d'un train en gare de la Ciotat
The sea
Jumping the Blanket
Partie de cartes

Promoted by
Gobierno de Navarra
Organized by
With the aid of
Con la financiación del Gobierno de España. Instituto de la Cinematografía y las Artes Audiovisuales Acción Cultural Española Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia Financiado por la Unión Europea. NexGenerationEU

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