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Welcome!films by the year

Films by the Year began around 2011 as a way to organize my film viewing by watching a film from each decade beginning with the 1890s up to the present decade. I begin with years that end in zero, 1890, 1900, 1910, etc. and once I’ve watched a film from each decade I return to the 1890s and start with films from years that end in one, 1891, 1901, 1911, etc. and so on. In order to do this I began entering the films in a spreadsheet in chronological order by release date. After a while I made the spreadsheet public as a Google sheet and in 2015 I created this website which includes my film index, which has now grown to over 21,000 entries. You will also find film reviews, articles on film history and the complete Lumière and American Mutoscope & Biograph photo catalogues organized by catalogue number. The latter catalogue is still a work in progress. Many of the films in the index and playlists for the film history articles link to my Films by the Year YouTube channel. I also have a channel on the Russian social media site Odnoklassniki. I invite you to join my Films by the Year Facebook Group where I post about my current projects and uploads to my YouTube channel.

Updates to the Film Index as of July 8, 2024

It just so happened that in June part of the the Cinema Ritrovato Film Festival was dedicated to the year 1904 in film. I discovered several films that I didn’t know about and a few of them are available online and have been included in the Year 1904 in Film playlist. According to my research not all the films were released in 1904. Here is the list of films that have been added to the index since I published my article, The Year 1904 in Film: A Watershed Year:
1903 Afka et la source du Nahr Ibrahim
1903 Cambrioleurs modernes (changed date from 1902 to 1903)
1904 Babylied
1904 Le Caire pittoresque
1904 Carnevale a Milano
1904 Un coup d’œil par étage
1904 Danses plastiques
1904 A Day in the Hayfields (YouTube)
1904 The Electric Shock
1904 Entracte
1904 Excursion en Italie (more complete YouTube upload)
1904 Film de famille Greffulhe : mariage d’Armand de Guiche et Élaine Greffulhe (YouTube)
1904 Les Grandes eaux de Versailles (YouTube)
1904 Gordon-Bennett-Autorennen (17.6.1904) (YouTube)
1904 La Grève (YouTube)
1904 Les Hébreux d’autrefois et les fellahs d’aujourd’hui
1904 Incendie du théâtre Iroquois à Chicago (YouTube)
1904 Julius Neubronner zaubert (YouTube)
1904 Kaiser Wilhelm II. weiht eine Gedenktafel für die Kaiserin Friedrich von Kronberg ein (18.6.1904) (YouTube)
1904 Kaiser Wilhelm II. im Auto (YouTube)
1904 Living London (YouTube)
1904 A Miner’s Daily Life (A Collier’s Life) (BFI Player – UK only)
1904 Mondaine au bain
1904 The Press – Illustrated
1904 La Puce
1904 Scottish Antarctic Expedition (YouTube)
1904 Spithead Naval Review ( – restricted)
1904 Il varo della Regina Elena alla Spezia
1904 A Wife’s Revenge; Or, The Gambler’s End (previously included in index as a lost film)
1905 Le Baydar
1905 Black Diamonds; or, The Collier’s Daily Life (BFI Player – UK only)
1905 Les Bulles de savon
1905 A Devonshire Stag Hunt (Hunting the Red Deer)
1905 Femmes à la fontaine de la Vierge
1905 Pont des Soupirs, Le [reissue from Excursion en Italie]
1905 Repas d’un Bethléemite
1905 Rome antique et modern [reissue from Excursion en Italie]
1907 La Vierge et son fils

Coming Soon

The Year 1898 in Film –  Currently adding films from April with 94 films in the playlist so far.

The Year 1903 in Film – Article and YouTube playlist. Just started the playlist on June 1, 2024. Three films so far.

L’Braiser ardent (1923) with English subtitles. Ivan Mosjoukine’s influential second directorial effort after emigrating from the Soviet Republic to France. I have about 20 minutes to go.

Ongoing Projects

  1. Adding all entries from Kent Niver’s Early Motion Pictures: The Paper Print Collection in the Library of Congress to the film index. There are about 3,000 films listed in the book arranged in alphabetical order. I’m currently working through titles that begin with the letter “P”.
  2. Creating an online version of the American Mutoscope and Biograph Photo Catalogues. These can be downloaded from Rutgers University but there’s no way to search them. When it’s finished you will able to search by title and find a still from the film along with other information.
  3. I have an enormous amount of films in digital format that I haven’t added to the index or uploaded to YouTube. I’m currently working through all the films I have from 1912.
  4. Adding films from Jon Whitehead’s streaming site I’m currently adding films from years ending in “3” to the film index.
  5.  Adding films from IMDb’s list of films from each year sorted by number of ratings. Currently working on years that end with “8”. I add one film 1898, 1908, …until I get to 2018 then start with the year 1899, 1909 and so on ad infinitum.
  6. Uploading my entire collection of digitized films to the cloud. Eventually external hard drives fail or might be destroyed in a fire or natural disaster. I started in July, 2023 and have uploaded almost 6 TB so far. Currently I’m working through films from the year 1970 and some anthologies of films from the late 19th and early 20th centuries along with DVD extras, trailers, etc.