Paul Merton's Weird And Wonderful World Of Early Cinema. Paul Merton.

Paul Merton's Weird And Wonderful World Of Early Cinema

BBC Four documentary. 1 episode in 2010. Features Paul Merton.

Press Clippings

Comedian Paul Merton's love for the giants of early Hollywood comedy is well known. But here he goes back in time and crosses the Atlantic to focus on the earliest pioneers of cinema, who were very much European. From the Lumière brothers' first publicly shown film - of people coming out of a factory (look out for the dog!) in 1895 - and the master of early science-fiction (and double exposure) Georges Méliès, to the British film-makers who used music-hall stars like Fred Evans for little shorts that would slip in between variety-show acts, it's a world of daffy charm and playful experimentation. And perhaps the programme's greatest gift is the light it sheds on one of the most influential of silent comedians, Max Linder (above, right with "disciple" Chaplin). Linder's life ended tragically, but his dapper exploits are a real joy.

Gill Crawford, Radio Times, 28th March 2010

Paul Merton searches for the roots of screen comedy in silent cinema. But it's not Hollywood that interests him here; it is pre-1914 Britain and France as he looks at screen stars back then, and examines the pioneering techniques of the time. And, not content to stay in the background, Merton conducts cinematic experiments of his own.

Simon Horsford, The Telegraph, 27th March 2010

I chose the film's title knowing that in most TV listings it would be shortened to Paul Merton's Weird.

Paul Merton, 25th March 2010