In the process, Gioli reminds us that the cinema, whose greatest martyr was perhaps Marilyn Monroe (whom Gioli clearly presents as a figura Christi, complete with a bleeding stigma), was born from the nineteenth-century optical machines--the thaumatropes
, phena-kistoscopes, and first chronophotographic devices of mechanized blinking--that provided an illusion of motion through the rapid succession of still images.
It's the land of the funny mirrors and thaumatropes
the space is a moving glossary of rarely heard terms -- of images and insights into a time long past.
It is also believed that prehistoric relics previously thought to have been used as buttons were actually designed as thaumatropes
- double sided pictures that can be spun to blur the images into an animation.
Well in advance of their nineteenth-century descendants, Palaeolithic thaumatropes
can be claimed as the earliest of the attempts to represent movement that culminated in the invention of the cinematic camera.
It will include a number of rare Victorian optical toys, including a camera obscura, zoetropes and thaumatropes
, which belong to experimental film-maker Werner Nekes and are being flown in to Liverpool from overseas.
Including zoetropes, thaumatropes
and a camera obscura, the gadgets were crucial to the development of photography and film.
However, Gioli's cinema takes us even further back than the creation-myth of proto-cinema--through the Thaumatropes
, Phenakistoscopes and first chronophotographic devices--back towards the birthplace of photographic images, the first positive Heliographic image of a window in Joseph Niepce's studio.
The day involved chanting out rules, sewing samplers, making thaumatropes
, writing with slates and even doing arithmetic, with pounds, shilling and pennies.
The two-story museum features a full range of interactive educational exhibits including pre-cinema motion picture devices such as zoetropes and thaumatropes
They included thaumatropes
, discs with pictures on each side attached to two pieces of string.
Clear instructions accompany all the makings of models of such devices as zoetropes, thaumatropes
, phenakistoscopes, and flip books.
That such animation was intentional is endorsed by the likely use of incised disks as thaumatropes
," he said.