12 August 1998 | Brian-59
one-shot record of a belly dancer
"Carmencita Dancing," one of a series of Edison short films featuring circus and vaudeville acts, displayed the... um... "talents" of a zaftig belly-dancer who agreed to undulate before the camera of the famous "Black Maria" studio. The dance was originally intended to be played in a Kinetoscope, a single -person arcade viewer connected to Edison's more famous invention, the phonograph. Through a pair of crude headphones, the latter device supplied an asynchronous soundtrack of "hootchie-cootchie" music. The Kinetograph camera here employed is so new -- even to its inventors -- that director Dickson has drastically "overcranked" the film, unintentionally producing one of the first examples of slow-motion. Carmencita's titillating movements were considered by many to be scandalous. Thus, the film prompted some of the earliest discussions of film censorship.