Film History: Old Man Drinking A Beer

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Here’s a curious piece of film (and beer) history. I don’t know if it’s the first time someone was filmed drinking a beer, but I imagine it has to be one of the first. The film is from 1898 (or 1897), and is known as Old Man Drinking a Glass of Beer, though it’s also sometimes known as Comic Face. Frankly, he doesn’t look that old to me.

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It was made by legendary British filmmaker George Albert Smith and features a close-up of comedian Tom Green drinking a beer and making faces. Green was a local Brighton comedian and was known for his “pantomime harlequinades at the Brighton Aquarium.” He went on to appear in many subsequent films made by Smith.

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This was apparently a groundbreaking development in film, showing the actor close up making changing facial expressions and this type of film became known as a “facial,” defined as “a work showing a variety of facial expressions to the audience.” According to one source, “the ability to get close up to the star was a great advantage that film had over the stage and early filmmakers were keen to exploit it,” and in this one Green is shown in a single shot “drinking a glass of beer whose face and hands become increasingly lively as a result.”

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Here you watch the entire 38-second silent film:

Beer In Film #99: Beoir, A Tale of Ireland’s Craft Ale

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Today’s beer film is trailer for Beoir: A Tale of Irelands Craft Ale which looks like it could be a very interesting, cool film about Ireland’s growing craft beer scene. Here’s the description of the film:

Beoir, (the Irish word for beer), is a short film about the emerging Irish craft brewery scene, showcasing The Donegal brewing company, Innishmacsaint brewing company, Mescan brewing company, Kinnegar brewing company and Poker Tree brewing company. These new mainly farmhouse breweries are based on the wonderful green island of Ireland. This film showcases not only the breweries but the Island of Ireland itself. Listen to the brewers tell their story in their own words and follow them on their journey at the very start of this emerging craft brewing scene in Ireland. From under Ireland’s holy mountain Croagh Patrick to the lakes of Fermanagh, Beoir is a fascinating and beautifully shot film.

Beer In Film #92: The Beer Hunter Episode 6 — Our Daily Beer

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Today’s beer film is the sixth of Michael Jackson’s six-part series, The Beer Hunter, that he did for Channel 4 (UK) and the Discovery Channel here in 1989. Since last Thursday was the birthday of Michael Jackson, it seemed like a good time to pull out the classics. Episode 6 is Our Daily Beer.

Beer In Film #90: The Beer Hunter Episode 5 — Burgundies of Belgium

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Today’s beer film is the fifth of Michael Jackson’s six-part series, The Beer Hunter, that he did for Channel 4 (UK) and the Discovery Channel here in 1989. Since last Thursday was the birthday of Michael Jackson, it seemed like a good time to pull out the classics. Episode 5 is Burgundies of Belgium.

Beer In Film #89: The Beer Hunter Episode 4 — The Fifth Element

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Today’s beer film is the fourth of Michael Jackson’s six-part series, The Beer Hunter, that he did for Channel 4 (UK) and the Discovery Channel here in 1989. Since Thursday was the birthday of Michael Jackson, it seemed like a good time to pull out the classics. Episode 4 is The Fifth Element.

Beer In Film #88: The Beer Hunter Episode 3 — Bohemian Connection

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Today’s beer film is the third of Michael Jackson’s six-part series, The Beer Hunter, that he did for Channel 4 (UK) and the Discovery Channel here in 1989. Since Thursday was the birthday of Michael Jackson, it seemed like a good time to pull out the classics. Episode 3 is Bohemian Connection.

Beer In Film #87: The Beer Hunter Episode 2 — Best of British

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Today’s beer film is the second of Michael Jackson’s six-part series, The Beer Hunter, that he did for Channel 4 (UK) and the Discovery Channel here in 1989. Since yesterday was the birthday of Michael Jackson, it seemed like a good time to pull out the classics. Episode 2 is Best of British.

Beer In Film #86: The Beer Hunter Episode 1 — California Pilgrimage

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Today’s beer film is the first of Michael Jackson’s six-part series, The Beer Hunter, that he did for Channel 4 (UK) and the Discovery Channel here in 1989. Since today is the birthday of Michael Jackson, it seemed like a good time to pull out the classics. Episode 1 is California Pilgrimage.

Beer Birthday: Anat Baron

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Today is the birthday of filmmaker Anat Baron, whose Beer Wars movie started people writing and talking about the beer business, from all sorts of angles, four years ago, and while it’s slowed down, the discussion has yet to have completely gone away. Or as Alan from A Good Beer Blog puts it, “joined to the long standing discussion about the beer business and added an interesting interpretation.” Love it or loathe it, it has certainly managed to capture people’s attention, and if that’s all it’s done, that’s still a huge positive to my way of thinking. But it’s also opened quite a few minds to what those of us who’ve been embedded in the beer business have known forever, which is how the business operates, where it’s fair and unfair, and what you can do as a consumer to support the beers and breweries you love. Join me in wishing Anat a very happy birthday.

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Anat behind the bar.

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Publicity photo for Beer Wars.