Language: Silent (101)

The Truth Behind the Ape-Man (La vérité sur l'homme-singe)

Notable for an early use of inter-cutting for comic effect (in a running gag), and the manic performance of the uncredited lead as ape-man (shades of Harpo). Also impressed by how efffective the wordless storytelling was. Or maybe not: almost all the online reviews I read were either baffled or off the mark. But if you're feeling the need for clues, there's a detailed breakdown at: https://centuryfilmproject.org/2016/06/13/the-truth-behind-the-ape-man-1906/

The Policemen's Little Run (La course des sergents de ville)

Dog goes for sausage, police go after dog.

The Teddy Bears

Porter still has not discovered the value of a closeup shot, and once again demonstrates his talent for transforming a 5-minute yarn into a 14-minute yawn. Here, The Three Bears meet Teddy Roosevelt and discover not only that he doesn't bother to speak, but he's also traded in his big stick for a big gun. Naive to standard imperialist tactics, they realize only too late that Goldilocks was merely a pretext for wholesale slaughter and plunder. A fun watch for the kids.

Madam's Fancies/Madame's Cravings (Madame a des envies)

This shows that pregnancy is an opportunity for a woman to ruthlessly indulge every passing fancy. But her jones, can break his bones - partners beware! Uses medium shots within the narrative, in a way similar to the 1903 'Mary Jane's Mishap.'

The Banknote (Le billet de banque)

A pre-Chaplin tale of tramp troubles. Tramp rescues wealthy couple from robbery and is rewarded with a bank note, but when he tries to use it he just gets the old bum's rush. Reasoning that 'clothes make the man', he attempts to solve the problem by...robbery.

The Cleaning Man (Le Frotteur)

Fans of Rik Mayall/Ade Edmondson's brand of 'full-on destruction' comedy will bow down in homage to this pioneering work of riotous excess.

The Race for the Sausage (Course a la saucisse)

Dog goes for sausage, town goes after dog. Similar to Pathé's 'The Policemen's Little Run' (released the same year), but towers over the competition in scoring for PPM (Pratfalls Per Minute).

The Torn Trousers/In A Difficult Position (Mon Pantalon Est Décousu)

Max uses finesse to try to hide a rip in his trousers during a dance. This is quintessential Max: the dapper and loveable upper-class twit whose efforts to impress ladies crash and burn while he tries to keep face, in the modern man's dilemma of maintaining the delusion of stability as his world falls apart.

His First Cigar (Premier Cigare d'un Collegien)

This is not Max, the dapper and loveable upper-class twit, but appears to be the same schoolboy in 'In Love With The Bearded Woman' (same uniform and still living with parents), who takes a crack at cigar-smoking. Closeup shots showcase Linder's remarkable expressive abilities, as he demonstrates how to choke with finesse.