La Foule



La Foule

LUM 1897-02

The Crowds at the Race Track in Melbourne

Before the Race.

MB 1897


1 Lumière 418 (AS 67) ; Maguire & Baucus 1418  
2 Marius Sestier Henry Walter Barnett
3 03/11/1896 17m
4 Australia, Melbourne, Hippodrome de Flemington  


24/11/1896 Australia, Sydney   The Lawn near the Band Stand
23/12/1896  Australia, Adelaide     
31/01/1897 Australia, Perth    
02/03/1897 Australia, Coolgardie    
09/03/1897 Australia, Kalgoorlie    
21/02/1897 France, Lyon    




National Film & Sound Archive

The glamorous crowds in their Cup Day attire parade the Lawn to see and be seen. Men and women glance or stare at the Cinematographe Lumiere and its operators, others pass by ignorant of its presence. But everyone is focused on the day’s events.
The second film of the Melbourne Cup Carnival series is La Foule or The Lawn Near the Bandstand as it was called in Australia. It was one of two films, the other being Near the Grandstand, which put a focus on the great crowds of fashionable society people and other celebrities. There are no precise descriptions of either of these films except to say that audiences enjoyed them while they identified well known faces. The Lawn is for members only venue where the rich, famous and official promenade to meet their friends, assess the outfits, gossip and do business.
Henry Walter Barnett understood the value of a crowd of celebrities to a paying audience. His photographic career was based on cabinet card sales of the rich, famous and infamous. To add to the allure of these first Australian-made films Barnett located and accompanied theatrical stars past the camera. Wearing his signature grey hat and coat we can see him with Elizabeth Brough, George Titheridge, Emma Temple and Lily Titheridge amongst others. Other famous faces appear incidentally like the artist Percy Seaton Spence and possibly Dan Fitzgerald of Fitzgeralds’ Circus.
When screened around the country audiences took great delight in recognising celebrities of the day – a veritable who’s who of Australian society.


The Bulletin,  12 December 1896


Cup Day. Flemington Arrangements. Programme of Events. Argus 3 November 1896, pg 5
Jackson, Sally. Like Boils the Cinematographe Tends to Break Out. Screening the Past, July 2015. This essay based on a frame by frame analysis of The Lawn Near the Bandstand hypothesises that Marius Sestier appears in the film.
Long, Chris. Australia’s First Films: Facts and Fables. Part Three: Local Production Begins. Cinema Papers No 93, May 1993, pg. 34-41, 60-61
Seguin, Jean-Claude and Michelle Aubert, eds. La Production Cinématographique des Frères Lumière, BIFI, 1995
Spotted at the Melbourne Cup. This blog and website identifies the celebrities as they parade past the camera.