Sidney Olcott, the First Eye
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 !  The Author 

My name is Michel Derrien. I was a journalist in Ouest-France for almost 40 years. Trained as a historian and passionate about Irish history, I met Sidney Olcott through an article about his adventure in the Green Island.
Curiosity pushed me to go further. Read what the great French film historians (Georges Sadoul, Jean Mitry, Maurice Bardèche & Robert Brasillac...) had to say about it. Among their British and American colleagues, there were more (a little, a lot...) One chapter, two at best.
To be sure, I went to London, to see the Olcott films kept at the National Film Archives. With a little moment of anguish when I wedged the reel on the viewing table. What if these films were of no interest?
The first sequences of The Lad from Old Ireland, shot in the Cork area in 1910, reassured me. The week I spent watching his films, so varied, was a comforting experience. Olcott has a rightful place in the history of this nascent art form!
In 1988, I obtained a grant from the Franco-American Foundation to carry out research in the United States. Jean Mitry was a precious support. I met the old historian at his home in Levallois-Perret.
Charming, attentive... He encouraged me: "Sidney Olcott is the great forgotten man in the history of cinema. "When I pointed out to him that his "universal filmography" contains many errors, he replied: "Young man, I'm counting on you to rectify them! »
This site therefore aims to restore Sidney Olcott's place in the history of cinema. All its place.


The front page of the book I wrote about the adventures of Sidney Olcott in Ireland. One can purchase it in Internet.

©2009 Michel Derrien