Mental Floss

Watch 120 Years of Movies in 120 Seconds

Jennifer M Wood
Stills from the Lumière Brother's La Sortie de l'usine Lumière à Lyon (1895-1896).
Stills from the Lumière Brother's La Sortie de l'usine Lumière à Lyon (1895-1896). / Manuel Schmalstieg, Institut Lumière // Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

December 28 marks the birth of modern moviegoing as we know it, as it was on this day in 1895 that Auguste and Louis Lumière mounted the world’s first commercial movie screening at Paris’s Grand Café. The evening’s program consisted of 10 short films, including the Lumière brothers’ own La Sortie de l'Usine Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory in Lyon), each one about 50 seconds in length—which is a far cry from the two-hour (or more) running times that are standard nowadays.

To commemorate more than 125 years of the cinema experience, the folks at Moon Film—who are best known for reediting popular films so that viewers can watch them backwards—put together the video below, which offers a quick glimpse at the many ways in which movies have evolved over the past century-plus. The supercut, featuring clips of 75 different films from 75 different directors, begins (appropriately) with the Lumière brothers and chronicles all the way through Avengers: Age of Ultron. Grab some popcorn, and enjoy.

A version of this story ran in 2015; it has been updated for 2021.