This was the week that was

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The Independent Culture
Today On this day in 1895 the first film comedy was premiered, a rib-tickling short about a gardener who is tricked, by a japester messing around with his hose, into wetting himself. The lead part was played by the actual family gardener (typecast again) of the Lumiere brothers.

Tomorrow In 1972 passengers from a plane which had crashed in the Andes were rescued, having survived by cannibalism; the 1993 fictionalised film of their ordeal, Alive,was almost as tasteless.

Wednesday In 1672 the first public concert was held "in a nasty hole" in central London, where a former royal musician, who had been sacked for being cheeky to the king, organised "very good musick". The performers were separated by a curtain from the eating, drinking and smoking audience, who might have put the musicians off their notes.

Thursday Henri Matisse was born in 1869; he became the leader of Fauvism, the group of painters so called after being denounced as Les Fauves (wild animals) on the grounds that, being fully paid-up Bohemians, they didn't brush their hair much.

Friday The British Board of Film Censors started in 1913. Of the the year's 7,510 movies, most were given U certificates, with a few receiving As, while 22 were banned for suggestiveness, ridicule of vicars, excessive drunkenness or "abhorrent" native customs. In 1962 The Beatles auditioned for the Decca record label but were advised not to give up their day jobs.

Saturday The Royal Academy opened in 1769; the sound you heard last year was Sir Joshua Reynolds, its first president, turning in his grave at the sawn-up cow and child-molester-style figures in Saachi's "Sensation" exhibition.

Sunday The first prison film show was held in a New South Wales nick in 1911; movies of "an elevating nature" included the New Wave epic Waterways of Holland and the canine cinema verite classic Dogs of Various Countries.

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