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The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures: A True Tale of Obsession, Murder, and the Movies

Published on Sep 25, 2022

Alliance Francaise de Pasadena (AFP) is hosting prize-winning documentarian and film producer Paul Fischer on Tuesday, Sept. 27, as he talks about his book, “The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures: A True Tale of Obsession, Murder, and the Movies,’ starting at 7 p.m.

“A Conversation with Paul Fischer” is in English and on Zoom. A donation of $10 is suggested.

The book is a biography of French artist Louis de Prince, the inventor of an early motion-picture camera and possibly the first person to shoot a moving picture sequence using a single lens camera and a strip of film.

Set in 1888, Louis Le Prince is finally testing his “taker” or “receiver” device for his family on the front lawn. The device is meant to capture 10 to 12 images per second on film, creating a reproduction of reality that can be replayed as many times as desired. In an otherwise separate and detached world, occurrences from one end of the globe could now be viewable with only a few days delay on the other side of the world. No human experience – from the most mundane to the most momentous – would need to be lost to history.

In 1890, Le Prince was granted patents in four countries ahead of other inventors who were rushing to accomplish the same task. But just weeks before unveiling his invention to the world, he mysteriously disappeared and was never seen or heard from again.

Three and half years later, Thomas Edison, Le Prince’s rival, made the device public, and the man who had dedicated his life to preserving memories was himself lost to history – until now.

“The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures” presents a “passionate, detailed defense of Louis Le Prince… unfurled with all the cliffhangers and red herrings of a scripted melodrama,” says The New York Times Book Review.

This “fascinating, informative, skillfully articulated narrative,” according to Kirkus Reviews, presents the never-before-told history of the motion picture and sheds light on the unsolved mystery of Le Prince’s disappearance.

As a reminder, a membership allows you to attend this event for free.

For more information, call (833) 386-3911 or visit

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