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EarlyCinema.com

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Coppola, schmoppola: A century before the director was born, the zoetrope was a cylindrical gadget through which users watched still images that appeared to move. Such cinematic artifacts and factoids are memorialized at British university student Jonathan Walters’ simple yet handsome site, EarlyCinema.com. A thought-provoking time line traces movie history from 17th-century magic lanterns to the 1908 emergence of D.W. Griffith; we also get bios (Thomas Edison, the Lumiere brothers) and a glossary/encyclopedia (e.g., Edison’s first film studio was nicknamed Black Maria for its supposed resemblance to the era’s police vans). B+