Papers of BAS. Humanities and Social Sciences

Vol. 6, 2019, No. 1

Presenting Asia through early cultural films

and the Bulgarian cinema magazine Pathé Week (1914)

Andronika Màrtonova

Abstract. The text is part of a larger study on different aspects of the development of early cinema art, film distribution, cinema discourses and markets in Bulgaria, viewed in a European context. The focus of the article is on the introduction of Asia on European screens through short documentary films, and the important role in this respect of the magazine Pathé Week, 1914. This periodical was one of our first professional, specialized movie magazines, representative of the Bulgarian branch of the French giant Pathé Frères. Many of the texts are related to the so-called pictures, views from Asia - short cultural documentary films that, on the screen, introduced the public to the specificities of the East (Japan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, India). The most important feature of this research work is the discovery that the majority of Pathé Frères’s cultural films were shown in Bulgaria before being screened in France.

Keywords: early cinema, Bulgaria, Asia, movie magazines, film archives, Pathé Frères