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Reading: 'Sans profit pour eux'. Dierenopnamen in vroege commerciële cinema 1891-1911


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'Sans profit pour eux'. Dierenopnamen in vroege commerciële cinema 1891-1911


Nico de Klerk

About Nico

Nico de Klerk (1956) is researcher bij het Nederlands Filmmuseum. Zijn onderzoek richt zich vooral op de collecties van het museum, in het bijzonder op veronachtzaamde filmhistorische onderwerpen en aspecten (o.a. vroege nonfictie, de programmavorm, koloniale cinema, amateurfilm). Zijn bevindingen geeft hij vorm in filmprogramma’s, o.a. ‘Het bioscoopprogramma’ [1995-1996], ‘The American Mutoscope & Biograph Company’ [2000], ‘Van de kolonie niets dan goeds: Nederlands-Indië in beeld, 1912-1942’ [2002],
‘Dark treasures: rediscovering colonial films’ [2004]; in de mede door hem geïnitieerde Amsterdam Workshops van het Filmmuseum, o.a. ‘Nonfiction from the teens’ [1994], ‘The eye of the beholder: colonial and exotic imaging’ [1998], ‘Re-assembling the programme’ [2004], ‘The images that changed your life: advertising films' [2009]; en in binnen- en buitenlandse publicaties en op symposia.

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The article explores early moving images of animals in promotional and publicity materials. Despite the lack of a complete, cross-media historical study of what is now called ‘wildlife films’, the film-historical discourse that does exist about this genre of films is dominated by a scientific approach that stresses the increasing naturalness and effect on salving the conscience. In this essay I argue a case for returning to a neglected element of this history, namely early commercial films about animals. By matching the different nomenclature that can be found in catalogues, advertisements and programmes and that are a part of the institutionalization of the cinema as an industry, the limits of the notion of genre and content in reconstructing a history of this type of imaging become clear.

How to Cite: de Klerk, Nico. 2009. “'sans Profit Pour Eux'. Dierenopnamen in Vroege Commerciële Cinema 1891-1911”. TMG Journal for Media History 12 (2): 83–104. DOI:
Published on 01 Dec 2009.


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