Short film about Amsterdam’s Prinsengracht.
In a single shot of about a minute, the film Prinsengracht gives an impression of Amsterdam in the year 1899. A boat slowly turns onto the Prinsengracht from the Bloemgracht. The camera on the forward deck slowly pans from left to right. The boat then sails under the bridge on the Leliegracht, where boats are moored on either side of the canal. In the distance, near the Haarlemmerdijk and the railway bridge of the Amsterdam-Haarlem line, we can see the sluices. A boy in a rowboat sees the filming boat just in time, and hastily rows out of the way.
Exactly when the film was shot is unknown, but the filmmaker was most likely the British cameraman Emil Lauste, who came to the Netherlands in June and September of 1899 to film for the Nederlandsche Biograaf- en Mutoscope Maatschappij. During those visits, he filmed a number of news subjects as well as seven short scenes for the theatrical revue ‘De nieuwe prikkel’. The film is razor sharp, thanks to its huge 68mm format. This was one of the many formats that were used in the early years of cinema. But the 68mm format had a very short life. At the beginning of the 20th century, 35mm became the standard. In the film, we can discern two worn-out areas: on the bottom left and right of the frame, just outside of the centre. These were probably caused by the transport mechanism: 68mm film had no perforations on the sides.