Bull Fight

bullfight 01 

Corrida de toros en Tacubaya
montage à partir de 48 dessins publiés dans
The San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco, dimanche 24 mai 1896, p. 33.
© Jean-Claude Seguin

1

Bull Fight

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1 Lambda Company  
2 Gray LathamEugene Lauste  
3 08/03/1896; 15/03/1896; 25/03/1896 20 min. 
4 Mexique, Mexico (Plaza de toros "Bucareli"), Tacubaya (Plaza de toros)  

3

06/05/1896  États-Unis, New York  eidoloscope Bull Fight 
 
TRICKS OF AGILITY.
THE LATEST EXHIBIT IN VAUDEVILLE
Louie Fuller's "Serpentine" Dance Eclipsed - Testing the Eidoloscope at the Olympic - Graphic Representation of a Mexican Bull Fight - An Enchanting Scene.
It is only a few months since Loie Fuller brought from Europe a new method of lighting up the "serpentine" dance, and now she has several imitators who attain more brilliant results. A newer exhibit in vaudeville that promises to spread quite as fast is-the transference of life-size and moving photographic pictures to a screen on the stage. Thomas A. Edison's "vitascope" was first in the field at Koster & Bial's, but a close second is Prof. Woodville Latham, whose name for a device that produces similar results is "Eidoloscope.” At least two other mechanisms for the same purpose are now in service in European music halls, and bidding for purchase by American managers. The promoter of the Eidoloscope has placed it at the Olympia, where it was tested yesterday. A tiny hole through which the lens is focussed is the only sign of the source of the pictures, and from this a beam of bright light extends to the screen, at which point it widens to dimensions that permit of showing a score of men in life size. As yet he attempts only black and white, but his scenes are of considerable duration. One that occupies fifteen minutes presents a graphic description of a Mexican bull fight, and is said to employ 4,000 feet of photographic film. The spectator looks across the middle of an arena to a back-ground of seats in tiers, from which comes a file of fighters, most of them afoot, but a few on horseback. The bull soon follows, and the processes of teasing him are at once begun. Few New Yorkers have had a chance to study the tricks of agility by which the men that flaunt banners at the enraged animal succeed in avoiding him, but these processes are clearly shown. First the bull is induced to charge upon his tormentor. As the animal approaches the man holds his cloth at arm's length to one side and as the lowered horns are about to toss it he steps nimbly aside in a turn that is too sharp for the prey to follow. It is shown, too, that even a bull can be very active, and some of his turns are surprisingly sudden. At frequent intervals he passes into a section of the arena that was not covered by the camera, and at such moments his position and behavior can be judged by the actions of the men that remain in view. Now and then a cloud of dust floats into sight from some point that is but a few feet outside the focussed space, and several times evidence of an unseen but spirited rally comes in the dashing about of a riderless horse. At first the bull is slow to action, but in time he passes into a mood that leads him to charge, head down, at the nearest object in sight. At one point he gets his horns beneath a horse and throws him and his rider, the fracas kicking up a cloud of dust that for a moment hides the fallen ones from view. As the dust settles all the men in the ring gather about and wave their banners, so as to draw the bull away from his helpless opponents, and by the time he is chasing some nimble chap across the ring, men can be discerned urging the fallen horse to rise. When he is finally up he is freed from his trappings, and is led across the ring to the quarters for the disabled. From time to time a matadore approaches, brandishing his sword at the bull, but is characterised more by agility than by recklessness, and it is no till the bull has become so fatigued that he has lost interest even in a colored cloth that he is despatched. At that moment he is almost hidden by dust and in less than another second the lens is shut off, leaving the theatre in total darkness till the lights are turned on. Sun.
The Buffalo Commercial, Buffalo, Wednesday, 13 May 1896, p. 7
12/05/1896 États-UnisNew York, Olympia eidoloscope  Bull Fight
20/06/1896 États-Unis, Boston eidoloscope Bull Fight
24/06/1896 États-UnisDetroit
eidoloscope Bull Fight
27/06/1896 États-UnisNew York, Bijou eidoloscope  Bull Fight
04/07/1896 États-UnisAtlantic City eidoloscope  Bull Fight 
7-8/11/1896 États-UnisWilkes-Barre eidoloscope Bull Fight
9-10/11/1896 États-UnisScranton eidoloscope Bull Fight
[11]/11/1896 États-UnisElizabeth eidoloscope  [Bull Fight] 
12/11/1896 États-UnisAllentown eidoloscope Bull Fight
13-14/11/1896 États-UnisTrenton eidoloscope Bull Fight
19/11/1896 États-UnisWilmington eidoloscope Bull Fight
21/11/1896 États-Unis, Savannah eidoloscope  Bull Fight 
23-24/11/1896 États-UnisAtlanta eidoloscope Bull Fight 
26/11/1896 États-UnisPensacola eidoloscope Bull Fight
27-28/11/1896  États-UnisMobile eidoloscope  Bull Fight 
29/11-5/12/1896 États-UnisLa Nouvelle-Orléans eidoloscope Bull Fight
08/12/1896 États-Unis, Hillsboro *eidoloscope [Bull Fight
9-10/12/1896 États-UnisSan Antonio eidoloscope Bull Fight
11/12/1896 États-UnisAustin eidoloscope Bull Fight
15/12/1896 États-Unis, Forth Worth eidoloscope  Bull Fight 
17/12/1896 États-Unis, Paris *eidoloscope [Bull Fight]
18-19/12/1896 États-Unis, Dallas *eidoloscope  [Bull Fight]
22/12/1896  États-UnisShreveport eidoloscope Bull Fight
04/01/1897 États-UnisIndianapolis eidoloscope Bull Fight
8-9/01/1897  États-UnisDayton eidoloscope Bull Fight
13/01/1897 États-UnisLogansport eidoloscope Bull Fight
17/01/1897  États-UnisDavenport eidoloscope Bull Fight
18/01/1897 États-UnisCedar Rapids eidoloscope Bull Fight
20/01/1897 États-UnisDes Moines eidoloscope Bull Fight
25/01/1897  États-UnisLincoln eidoloscope Bull Fight
27/01/1897 États-UnisLeavenworth eidoloscope Bull Fight
28/01/1897  États-UnisLawrence eidoloscope Bull Fight
29/01/1897 États-UnisTopeka eidoloscope Bull Fight
30/01/1897 États-UnisSt.-Joseph eidoloscope Bull Fight
02/02/1897 États-Unis, Fort Madison eidoloscope Bull Fight 
03/02/1897 États-UnisBurlington eidoloscope Bull Fight 
08/02/1897 États-UnisJacksonville eidoloscope Bull Fight
08/02/1897 États-Unis, Southport eidoloscope  Mexican Bull Fight 
09/02/1897  États-UnisBloomington eidoloscope Bull Fight 
10/02/1897 États-UnisDecatur eidoloscope Bull Fight

Gray Latham y el rodaje de Bull Fight (marzo de 1896)

Gray Latham y el rodaje de Bull Fight (marzo de 1896)

Jean-Claude SEGUIN VERGARA

Durante el mes de marzo de 1896, se van a rodar varias vistas animadas de corridas diferentes, unas en la plaza de toros de Bucareli y otras en la plaza de toros de Tacubaya. Varias preguntas se plantean entonces con relación a estos rodajes. ¿Por qué en tan poco tiempo se ruedan varias cintas? ¿Quién(es) las rueda(n) y para quién(es)? ¿Se trata de varias películas o de una sola? Preguntas a las cuales intentamos contestar a continuación.

La llegada de Gray Latham a México (febrero de 1896)

Procedentes de Nueva York, Gray Latham, accompañado de E. Lanstree -probablemente un error del periódico por Eugène Lauste-, llegan a la ciudad de México, el día 26 de febrero y se instalan en el Hotel de la Ópera (The Two Republics, México, 26 de febrero de 1896, p. 6). Desde el día 5 de marzo, los dos cinematografistas se dedican a sacar vistas de diferentes mercados de la ciudad:

Several excellent view of the various markets in this city were taken yesterday afternoon by the management of the new Eidoloscope.The Mexican Herald, Mexico, March 6, 1896, p. 8. 

latham gray

El historiador americano, Terry Ramsaye evoca este viaje en "The Romantic History of The Motion Picture", pero atribuyéndolo a Otway Latham, cuando los datos recogidos por la prensa mexicana no dejan lugar a dudas:

Otway Latham and his bride, Natalie Lockwood, set out for the City of Mexico. The arrival there of the world's first motion picture expedition was an event of acclaim in that enthusiastic capital. The Mexicans were fired with interest about the pictures that lived and moved. Young Latham and his beautiful young wife were considerably entertained. This was in the height of the days of the regime of Porfirio Diaz, the dictator-president. There were fetes and bull fights and garden parties, bright with the zest of Mexicans at play.


Photoplay Magazine, vol. XXII, nº 3, August, 1922, p. 51

La historia contada por Ramsaye no deja de ser bella y romántica, aunque probablemente se lo haya inventado casi todo... ya que los que llegan para rodar la película son, de forma más prosaica, Gray y Lauste.

Los rodajes

Las diferentes reseñas hemerográficas nos permiten decir que , desde un principio, en marzo de 1896, se ruedan diferentes vistas animadas. El cinematografista es Gray Latham que utiliza el aparato inventado por su padre para efectuar los distintos rodajes.

La corrida de toros en Bucareli (domingo 8 de marzo de 1896)

La primera corrida se va a filmar en la plaza de toros de Bucareli. Ésta se ha inaugurado el 15 de enero de 1888 y deja de funcionar en junio de 1899. Está situada en la 6ª calle de Bucareli y 1ª de Barcelona (D.F.). Se construye por la iniciativa del torero Ponciano Díaz, asociado con el general José Ceballos y con un comerciante español acaudalado, Quintín Gutiérrez. La plaza de toros tiene una capacidad de unos diez mil espectadores. La prensa de lengua inglesa anuncia el inminente rodaje:

The management of the Eidoloscope Photographic apparatus, will be present at the Bullfight to day to take a serie of photographs of the entertainment.


The Mexican Herald, Mexico, March 8, 1896, p. 8.

mexico plaza toros bucareli

B. Waite, Plaza de toros, Bucareli, c. 1897
© Francisco Montellano Ballesteros

El domingo 8 de marzo de 1896 tiene lugar una corrida a beneficio del torero español José Centeno que ha hecho una faena en Pachuca poco antes. Pocos días antes, H. F. Schlattman, acompañado de Centeno, quiere sacar una fotografía del toro "Burraquito" que figura en la corrida del domingo:

H. F. Schlattman in company with Jose Centeno, the popular Spanish Bull fighter succeded in obtaining a very good photograph of the Spanish bull "Buraquito" [sic] at La Piedad. Mr. Schlattman thinks there are many easier subjects for photographing than game bulls.


The Mexican Herald, México, 1º de marzo de 1896, p. 8.

En la corrida va a tomar parte, además de José Centeno, Juan Jiménez el "Ecijano". Figura conocida del toreo, éste va a fallecer trágicamente, en la plaza de toros de Durango (México), el 5 de febrero de 1899. Se van a lidiar seis reses de la ganadería de Parangueo y con el toro "Burraquito":

El beneficio de José Centeno.-Como lo anunciamos con anterioridad, mañana domingo se celebrará en la Plaza de Toros de Bucareli una gran corrida, a beneficio del aplaudido matador José Centeno.
Se lidiaron a muerte seis reses de la ganadería de Parangueo y el toro español "Burraquito," traído por Centeno, será picado y luego banderillado por el peón Manuel Quesada "Filomeno". Después de lidiado "Burraquito,"  volverá al corral.
En esta corrida tomará parte Juan Jiménez el "Ecijano," que a ello se prestó sin retribución, y únicamente por simpatía a Centeno.
Los aficionados podrán resarcirse de la abstinencia obligada del domingo anterior.


El Siglo Diez y Nueve, México, 7 de marzo de 1896, p. 2.

centeno jose mexico bucareli cartel jimenez juan ecijano
José Centeno y Laboisse
(Sevilla, 1861-Sevilla, 1910)
Plaza de toros de Bucareli, 
Corrida a beneficio de José Centeno,
domingo 8 de marzo de 1896

© José Francisco Coello Ugalde
Juan Jiménez el "Ecijano"
(Ecija, 1858-Durango, 1899)

Refiriendóse al periódico El NoticiosoEl Siglo Diez y Nueve publica la siguiente gacetilla:

Cuarenta y seis vistas por segundo.-Sabe el Noticioso que ayer, en la plaza de toros de Bucareli, se instaló con motor un eiolosco, aparato que sacó por segundo 46 vistas del público, las cuales de tamaño natural y con sus movimientos serán exhibidas en los telones de los teatros.


El Siglo Diez y Nueve, México, lunes 9 de marzo de 1896, p. 2.

La nota periodística evoca el rodaje con un aparato llamado *eiolosco. No se conoce ningún cinematógrafo que lleve este nombre, y el que más se le parece es el eidoloscopio. En la reseña de la corrida publicada por El Monitor republicano, se vuelve a encontrar el mismo nombre -lo cual no es de extrañar, suponiendo que la fuente de El Noticioso es única-:

TOROS EN BUCARELI.-Bajo la presidencia del Regidor Sr. Fernando Pimentel se verificó antes de ayer en la plaza de Bucareli, la corrida de toros anunciada a beneficio del espada español José Centeno.
Se lidiaron toros de la ganadería de Parangueo y dieron muy buen juego, sobre todo el segundo y el quinto. Todos resultaron nobles, y duros con los de a caballo.
El toro español “Burraquito” que sólo fue picado y banderillado, dio también buen juego, dejando varias sardinas fuera de combate.
Los espadas Centeno y “Exijano” (sic), en sus quites oportunos estuvieron a gran altura y fueron muy aplaudidos; con el capote se lucieron, pero en la suerte suprema no estuvieron afortunados.
De los banderilleros sobresalió Filomeno, especialmente en el par de poder a poder que puso al toro español.
De los picadores, Arriero y Pimienta, se hicieron dignos de mención.
La entrada estuvo buena en sombra y floja en sol.
Poco antes de comenzar la corrida fue herido accidentalmente con una banderilla, en el muslo derecho, Arturo Bárcenas.
Le atendieron a tiempo unos practicantes de medicina.
Instalose en la Plaza con motor un Eiolosco, aparato que sacó por segundo 46 vistas del público, las cuales de tamaño natural y con sus movimientos serán exhibidas en los telones de los teatros.


El Monitor Republicano, México, martes 10 de marzo de 1896, p. 2.

El eidoloscopio es un aparato construido por Woodville Latham y sus dos hijos en 1894. Lo único que señalan los dos artículos es que se sacan "vistas del público", pero no se habla de la corrida... Se supone que, tal vez, por razones técnicas, no se llegan a rodas vistas de la corrida en sí. Por lo demás, la prensa no ofrece más información sobre el cinematografista.

La corrrida de toros en Bucareli (domingo 15 de marzo de 1896)

Una semana después, una nueva corrida tiene lugar en la plaza de toros de Bucareli. El diestro es de nuevo Juan Jiménez el "Ecijano". En este caso, al parecer, el operador intenta rodar algunas vistas de la corrida, pero un incidente se lo impide: 

Toros en Bucareli
Domingo 15 de Marzo de 1896
Después del buen juego que el domingo pasado dieron los toros de Parangueo, éste organizó otra corrida con reses de la misma ganadería, que solo en [...]cudidas de carnes fueron iguales a [...] predecesoras, dejando por consiguie nte mucho que desear.
[...]
QUINTO
[...]
Se arma el "Ecijano" y da tres altos, uno de pecho y un cambiado por debajo y... francamente no sé lo que quiso hacer. Encorbado, con las piernas completamente abiertas, enhilado con la cámara del kinetoscopio que tenían en el tendido y con la espada y muleta en disposición de arrancarse a matar, así se paró a un lado del toro. Qué fué eso? No lo sé. No faltó quien dijera que tenía intenciones de recibir. Pero no, así no se cita a recibir Sr. "Ecijano" y no creo que usted quisiera ponerse en ridículo y que nadie se tragara aquello ni como grotesca parodia de la suerte suprema del toreo. Nada, que no sé lo que usted quiso hacer y puede que ni usted lo sepa tampoco.


El Universal, México, 16 de marzo de 1896, p. 3.

Si aquí se habla de "cámara del kinetoscopio" es más por ignorancia del periodista que otra cosa. Lo cierto es que se han hecho nuevos intentos para rodar una película.

La corrida de toros en Tacubaya (miércoles 25 de marzo de 1896)

Debido probablemente a las dificultades encontradadas en la plaza de toros "Bucareli", Gray Latham decide organizar una corrida "privada" que le permita, en condiciones óptimas, efectuar el rodaje. La corrida tiene lugar en la plaza de toros de Tacubaya con los diestros Juan Jiménez "el Ecijano" y Manuel Calleja "Colorín". La plaza Tacubaya se ha inagurado el domingo 21 de octubre de 1894. La primera gacetilla la publica El Partido Liberal en su edición del 25 de marzo:

Corrida de toros
Ayer en la mañana tuvo lugar en la plaza de Tacubaya una corrida de toros particular, a puerta cerrada y a la cual fueron invitadas varias personas aunque en muy escaso número. La casa que exhibe un kinetoscopio en la avenida de Plateros llevó su aparato y estuvo tomando algunas vistas que serán presentadas al público próximamente.


El Partido Liberal, México, miércoles 25 de marzo de 1896, p. 2.

En realidad, por razones técnicas no se llegan a tomar vistas de la corrida prevista el día 24:

The managers of the Kinetoscope were enable to take their snap shots at the bull fight in Tacubaya yesterday owing to a diarrangement of plans, but it is understood the attempt will be made today.


The Two Republics, Mexico, Wednesday, March 25, 1896, p. 6.

Sin embargo, al día siguiente, se consigue rodar la corrida como lo relata el mismo periódico con mucho detalles:

YESTERDAY’S BULL-FIGHT
A Splendid Exhibition of the Gory Spectacle at Tacubaya
A COUNTERFEIT PRESENTMENT
Thanks to the enterprise of the Eidoloscope Company of New York a number of people were yesterday afforded the opportunity of witnessing a gratuitous and first-class exhibition of a bull-fight. The spectacle was organized by Mr. Gray Latham for the purpose of taking impressions of every phase of the native sport in the interest of the Eidoloscope Co. of which he is the vice-president, the object of the concern being to furnish the world with a vivid exemplification of how the art of Cuchares is conducted, through the medium of the Eidoloscope. The latter is a photographic apparatus that owes its inception to the brain of Mr. Woodville Latham, one of the wealthiest and most influential citizens of the American metropolis. As his name would indicate he is the father of Mr. Gray Latham. The young man who was specially sent to this country to carry into execution what was yesterday accomplished at the Tacubaya coliseum at 11 o’clock in the morning. The ingenious invention is capable of taking 1,600 impressions per minute, and is acknowledged be an improvement on the kinetoscope, Edison’s wonderful device.
Yesterday’s show furnished the instrument a splendid scope for a successful undertaking. It worked well throughout, with the exception of the time when the third bull made its appearance in the arena. At this juncture one of the cogwheels on the right side failed to operate properly with the result that the mechanism of the camera failed to produce the desired effect. This condition of things did not last very long, however, and consequently proved of no importance with respect to the splendid results obtained, as every moment and phase of any significance whatsoever, was taken with the rapidity of lightning.
When the impressions of yesterday’s spectacle are properly set in the machine, for exhibition purposes, witnesses thereof cannot fail but to pronounce it as realistic as the sport from life actually is. In the fight several passages were observed which, although not novel in the science of tauromachy, still do not always present themselves under the observation of those witnessing their maiden bullfight, for the simple reason that in an ordinary performance the fighters are not always in a condition to demonstrate to the public what they are capable of accomplishing with an infuriated beast and above all they are not required, as the case happened to be yesterday, to display all their skill in the brutal sport. First of all, the alguacil of chevalier who parades in front of the judge’s box in quest of permission for the fight to begin, put in his appearance, after the style of famous exhibitions in Spain. Then the entire troupe marched into the arena with Juan Jimenez, alias el “Excijano,” as the captain of the team. This was only the prelude to the exhibition in toto, which consisted of dexterous manipulation with the cape, a la Navarra, and otherwise, the sticking of banderillas, etc., and finally the slaughtering of the bull at the hands of the matador, Excijano, who despatched the first beast in first class style.
The third bull caught “El Colorín” in the left arm but fortunately did not harm the fighter, and also tore down a portion of the fence encircling the ring whilst attempting to effect his escape.
Mr. Latham expects to leave for New York, via Vera Cruz, next Saturday week and feels confident that the inhabitants of this city will be enabled to witness a reproduction of yesterday’s bull-fight by means of the Eideloscope three months hence.
The company deserves to meet with succession the undertaking, as they are risking considerable money in order to give retable views of interesting subjects, to the public. The exhibition yesterday, alone, cost over $1,800, gold.


The Two Republics, Mexico, March 26, 1896, p. 1.

El periodista ofrece bastante detalles relativos al rodaje e incluso a las dificultades de éste en el tercer toro. De forma mucho más breve, El Partido Liberal reseña a su vez la corrida en Tacubaya:

Vistas para los Estados Unidos
Como lo anunciamos, anteayer se verificó en Tacubaya una corrida de toros en la que trabajó "El Ecijano" con su cuadrilla.
Los toros dieron muy buen juego y las visats sacadas del espectáculo, con el aparato eléctrico "Eideloscopio" quedaron muy bien y serán llevadas a los Estados Unidos.
A uno de los toreros le cogió un toro por el brazo derecho causándole una lijera lesión.
La compañía organizadora de la corrida tuvo de gastos 1,800 en oro americano.


El Partido Liberal, México, 27 de marzo de 1896, p. 2.

Así pues, si nos atenemos a la información hemerográfica de que se dispone, el rodaje de la "corrida de toros" es bastante complejo y se graban -se intentan grabar- varias corridas, siendo sin embargo la última del 25 de marzo la que parece haber producido más imágenes. Allí termina la aventura de esta Bull Fight. De esta película, probablemente sea The Examiner de San Francisco el que ofrece más detalles, además de una serie de dibujos que reproducen fotogramas:

INSTANTANEOUS PHOTOGRAPHS OF A BULL FIGHT.
Showing the Mad Rush of the Bull; the Plunging of the Bull’s Horns the Horse’s Side; the Horse Lifted into the air on the Bull’s Horns; the Picador Wounding the Bull and the Retreat of the Bull from the Horse.
The bull fight, the national sport of Spain, Mexico and some of the South American republics, is the most cruel of all sports. It is, too, the most intensely thrilling of any contest human genius has ever devised-brutally thrilling, because the lives of the bull, the trembling horses and the dozen or more men in the arena are at stake.
Here is a series of instantaneous pictures of a teriffic fight berween a picador and a prize Atenco bull. This bull fight took place in the Tacubaya ring, outside the City of Mexico, on March 25, of this year.
Three bulls and three horses were then killed. The fight was full of thrilling incidents.
Antonio Fernandez, the picador on horse-back, is one of the most expert bull fighters in Mexico. He says that the struggle here shown was one of the most dangerous he ever went through. Fernandez narrowly escaped with his life.
At the outset of the fight you see the mounted picador approach the bull, lance in hand. The bull angrily swishes his tail, and lowers his head as he makes a rush toward the horse.
At this instant the picador lowers his sharp-pointed lance to receive the force of the bull’s onset. As it enters his hide he angrily swishes his tall and makes a vicious lunge with his needle-pointed horns.
Horse and bull come together with a clash. The lance enters the flesh of the bull, while his horns penetrate the left shoulder of the horse.
The force of this impact was teriffic, as is shown by the pictures. The entire fore part of the horse is raised from the ground by the plunge animal.
The bull throws all his weight against the lance. He seeks to bury his horns in the body of the horse.
During all this time the picador endeavors to keep the maddened bull at bay. The latter wishes to come to closer quarters. He strikes wildly with his horns, always keeping his head down.
The horse rears and plunges frantically. But the power of this prize bull is such that he steadily pushes his antagonist upward.
those who excitedly watched the struggle say that the bull almost threw the horse with his rider over backward. The pictures show a feat which even the most fiery of the prize Mexican bulls rarely accomplish.
Having rushed upon the horse an lifted him up on his hind legs, it will be seen that the bull ran around more than half a circle, shoving both the horse and his rider as he went. The horse ridden by Fernandez, and which subsequently died from the wounds received in this encounter, turned on his hind legs as the bull, pressing all his weight into his shoulders, shoved him around helplessly.
The aim of the bull was to tear the horse open. The expert picador, however, defeated this immediate object by his skillful play with his lance.
The picador was almost raised out of his saddle as he held the lance. If it had been stuck in the neck of the bull, near the head, he would have been easily unhorsed.
It was impossible for the picador in this fight to keep the long, sharpened horns of the bull away from the horse and the latter was fearfully gored on his left shoulder. Failing in his attempt to overthrow both horse and rider, the bull, mortally wounded, rushed away to die.
During the whole of the rest of the proceedings in the Tacubaya ring there was no incident so dramatic and thrilling as this which imperiled the life of Mexico’s most popular picador. Another picador, Jose Tega by name, stood ready at the time, but took no part in the struggle.
Even such a terrific wound as this only served to bring out all the fighting qualities of the bull, as the pictures show. If he had drawn back when he felt the cruel lance he could have escaped for the time. But it will be seen that he lunged and plunged, kicking up the ground, lashing his tail and striking with his horns as he sought to get in on horse and rider.
This was the first private bull fight to occur in Mexico. It was arranged by Mr. Gray Latham for the purpose of taking the Eidoloscope pictures now being thrown on a screen at the Olympia and at the St. James Hotel in this city.
United States Minister Ransom, Consul-General Crittenden, with Mrs. Crittenden and many other Americans in Mexico at the time, were among the invited guests present at this fight. Governor-General Pedro Rincon, the Governor of the federal district of Mexico, was also present.
The bulls and the bull fighters were secured for the Eidoloscope people by Pedro Norieger, the most prominent impresario in Mexico. A private bull fight is expensive, as this exhibition cost over $4,000, some of the star fighters present receiving as high as $500. The Atenco bulls cost $100 each.
Of course, the pictures here shown are but a small fraction of the immense number of photographs taken of even this brief incident in the bull fight. They were cut from the films a foot or more apart. Sometimes eight or ten pictures were taken out at a time without any of the action being lost.
More than 50,000 pictures were taken by the Eidoloscope during the two and one-half hours while the bull fight lasted. This wonderful invention, which afterward projects the pictures on a screen so fast that only the movements of the actors are seen, can take 50 pictures per second.
It can keep that up hour after hour, thus taking photographs at the rate of 180,000 per hour. The original picture are on a continuous strip of film, each being three-quarters of an inch deep and about an inch and a half in width.
For exhibition purposes the film is flashed across a magnifying glass that enlarges the image thrown on a screen. The time maintained is the same both at the exhibition and during the actual occurrence, the same number of pictures per minutes being unrolled.
The strip from which the 48 pictures shown herewith were taken was about 100 feet in length. More than a mile of gelatin film was used in taking all the bull fight pictures, and the camera was worked by a steam engine.


The Examiner, San Francisco, May 21, 1896, p. 1.

Final de la estancia en México (marzo de 1896)

Nada más terminar el rodaje, Gray Latham sale para Orizaba:

Professor Latham, manager of the Eidoloscope, left for Orizaba this morning.


The Mexican Herald, Mexico, Thursday, March 26, 1896, p. 8.

Sin embargo, no disponemos de informaciones sobre el por qué de este viaje. Además pocos días más tarde, está de nuevo en México, esta vez con la intención de rodar otra serie de vistas animadas. En este caso se trata de sacar una película de la Pasión que tiene lugar en Coyoacán:

Special arrangements have been made by Profesor Latham for taking a series of views, for exhibition in the Eidoloscope, of the Passion Play at Coyoacan, next Friday.


The Mexican Herald, Mexico, Tuesday March 31, 1896, p. 8.

Información confirmada en otro periódico, El Tiempo:

El eidoloscopio
El profesor Latham ha hecho arreglos para tomar una serie de vistas, mediante este nuevo aparato, en Coyoacán, durante la fiesta de la Pasión que se celebrará en Coyoacán en Viernes Santo.


El Tiempo, México, 1º de abril de 1896, p. 3.

Pocos después Gray Latham y Eugène Lauste regresan a Estados Unidos.

Bibliografía

MONTELLANO BALLESTEROS Francisco, Aportaciones histórico taurinas mexicanas (blog): https://ahtm.wordpress.com/

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