'Sans profit pour eux'. Dierenopnamen in vroege commerciële cinema 1891-1911
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis , Volume 12 - Issue 2 p. 83- 104
The article explores early moving images of animals in promotional and publicity materials. Despite the lack of a complete, cross-media historical study of what is now called ‘wildlife films’, the film-historical discourse that does exist about this genre of films is dominated by a scientific approach that stresses the increasing naturalness and effect on salving the conscience. In this essay I argue a case for returning to a neglected element of this history, namely early commercial films about animals. By matching the different nomenclature that can be found in catalogues, advertisements and programmes and that are a part of the institutionalization of the cinema as an industry, the limits of the notion of genre and content in reconstructing a history of this type of imaging become clear.