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Who Dunnit?


Who invented the cinema? If you are French, you will probably say: “The Lumière Brothers”. If you are American, no doubt: “Thomas Edison”. But CMCI’s Dr Richard Howells appeared on BBC Radio 4’s flagship “Today” programme to argue for a third candidate: Louis Le Prince, a Frenchman who worked in England before moving to the United States.

Unfortunately, Le Prince died under mysterious circumstances before he could take any credit for his invention, which Dr Howells likened to a philosophical tree falling, unheard, in a metaphorical forest.

The interview was with BBC Media and Arts Correspondent David Sillito. For the whole story of Le Prince see Dr Howells’ research article: “Louis Le Prince: The Body of Evidence” in Screen, Volume 47, Number 2, Summer 2006, pp. 179-200, and his more journalistic piece: “A Movie Murder Mystery” in The Times Higher Education Supplement, July 23, 1999, pp. 18-19.


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