The first POV close-ups in film history. Naturally enough the technique is introduced in a short whose concept centers around this idea.
This is the first film to consciously rack and lose focus for effect, in this instance the introduction of a break in perceived reality. Quite funny!
One of the first examples of shot continuity. Start on train POV, when entering the tunnel cut inside, and then cut to the exit of the tunnel from a objective angle.
An early disaster film.
This is one that requires a bit of an intro. I pasted below the explication offered by Change Before Going Productions, the awesome YouTube channel that hosts a number of early milestones in film online:
Shooting Captured Insurgents is a hyper-realistic re-enactment filmed during the Spanish-American War, and having the purpose of bolstering sympathy for the Cuban rebels (and antagonism towards the Spanish). The United States had previously entered the conflict in early 1898 after the sinking of the USS Maine battleship in Havana harbor left 258 of the ship’s crew dead.
In the film, Spanish freedom fighters are led in front of a Spanish firing squad and then executed. The movie would play with no explanation that the footage shown was not real i.e. staged, leaving the audience to believe they had just witnessed actual deaths.
The world’s first commercial on film was fittingly enough for cigarettes.
The first camera pan!
The cinema’s first horror film!
One year I viewed a lot of Alice Guy films such that she was featured as a category on my favorite older films list. Being the first female director would make her notable enough, being talented has allowed her to endure.
The first film to feature footage moving in reverse, and it is done explicitly as an experiment.