Une partie de cartes (1896) Poster

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Learning to Play the Game
boblipton13 March 2008
at this stage in the history of the cinema, there was no copyright protection for individual films, so successful efforts were often redone by competitors.... and the ways in which they wound up doing things differently tells us more about their weaknesses and strengths than their original works. This is Melies' version of the Lumiere Brothers' film of 1895 and while he imitates them adequately in terms of composition, it can be seen immediately that this is a Melies movie: the actors are much more flamboyant than those in the Lumiere piece. This is one of the many previously lost or infrequently seen Melies pictures that have been made available by Serge Bromberg, David Shepherd and a myriad of other hands in the newly issued DVD set GEORGES MELIES: FIRST WIZARD OF CINEMA. Required viewing for anyone interested in the history of movies ..... and a lot of fun.
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Playing Cards
Michael_Elliott28 March 2008
Playing Cards (1896) ** 1/2 (out of 4) aka Une Partie de cartes This here was the first film ever directed by Georges Melies and it runs just over a minute and the title pretty much tells you all you need to know when it comes to the story. Three men sit around playing cards and ordering drinks. The magic that Melies brought to the screen can't be spotted here as this short is pretty much like countless others of the era as it just shows you brief things being done and in this case it's card playing. The camera stays put the entire film as the action takes place in front of it. This certainly isn't classic Melies but everyone had to start somewhere.
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Meet Georges Melies
wes-connors22 July 2012
Two men are playing cards while a third man is more interested in reading the newspaper. The man in the middle appears to be distracting the other two from the card game, but all are having a real good time. Apparently, alcohol is being consumed, as the middle man asks a little girl to have an older woman bring the trio a bottle. She brings the ordered alcohol and the men drink. The woman retrieves the fallen newspaper and smiles directly at the camera. In the end, the man in the middle seems to have captivated his companions attention. He should, he's Georges Melies. Presently, this is the renown filmmaker's first film.

***** Une partie de cartes (1896) Georges Melies ~ George Melies, Gaston Melies, Georgette Melies
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We're lucky Melies' first film survived at all
Tornado_Sam2 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Many of the first films by french pioneer Georges Melies are presumed lost. However, we are extremely lucky that the first film by the master survived at all.

In Melies' earliest career, he had no movie magic. He still had yet to discover the stop trick. So his earliest films basically were just remakes of the Lumiere Brothers' movies, which basically showed people mounting horses, eating dinner, trains arriving in stations, and gentlemen playing cards. ( Sometime check out the Lumiere film "Card Party", of which this film is a remake.) Only 7 films made by Melies in 1896 survive. They are: "Playing Cards", "Conjuring", "Post no Bills", "A Terrible Night", "The Vanishing Lady", "The Haunted Castle", and "A Nightmare."

Some men are chatting, drinking, reading a newspaper, and playing cards. It should be noted one of the men is Melies himself. It's good this survives, even though there's no movie magic. Entertaining in its own way.
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Card games were a common choice for early films
Thomas13 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Another short film about a couple men playing cards. It's very very similar to "Partie d'écarté", only that the fourth person herein is not a servant, but most likely the wife to one of the players. The fact that's she's really chubby probably confirms my thought that this is certainly a look into the free time of upper-class people. No lack of food here. Just like the other, there's smoking and drinking involved and the game takes place outdoors. However, another difference is the ending. While the previously mentioned short film from the same year has everybody clinking glasses at the end, this one finishes with one man reading something funny in the newspaper and telling the other two, who break into laughter immediately. Hmmm i wonder what was so funny. I guess we'll never know. It's an okay silent short film, neither among Méliès best nor worst.
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Georges Melies Debut But Don't Expect Much
Theo Robertson3 July 2013
This is the film debut of master cinema magician Georges Melies featuring three men having a game of cards and because of the name Melies perhaps one might have expected more because there is no trick photography . It's just a mundane static shot of three men playing cards . In fact even the title is misleading because watching it you're more aware that they're ordering wine from a waitress who keeps appearing and disappearing in to frame and two of the men constantly puffing away on ciggies . That said being the film debut of Melies it's place in important film history is assured and we should be thankful that unlike so many of the director's earlier works it still exists and is easily accessible on the internet in 2013
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Early Melies' Film Nothing Special
CitizenCaine23 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
An early film directed by and starring Georges Melies himself (positioned in the center of the card players), the film is nothing more than an exercise in composition, framing, and posing for the camera. Many early films like this, now lost to time, depicted the same innocuous scenarios of people interacting in common, routine scenarios, and the entertainment was more or less the fact that such a scene with interacting people in it could be filmed and watched after the fact. There are no special directorial touches in the film, which Melies would later be noted for, but the simple setting of three chaps playing cards, drinking, and having a barmaid drop by is an echo from a long ago era. ** of 4 stars.
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Testing, testing.
st-shot26 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
You have to start somewhere and given that this is one of the first fictional films in moving picture history still surviving it is a privilege and required viewing for both film historians and fans of The Belle Epoque. Granted it may well be what the quartet of characters do on an everyday basis but once they are given direction it's documentary status is nullified. A one minute simple scene of three men reading, playing cards and drinking with a barmaid in attendance. There's a fractured image of what looks like a well cut poodle moving through the background. Two of the three men overact, the third is shy, the barmaid displays a warm good natured smile. The moment is sublime. This is one of film pioneer George Melies earliest works and its warm open air B&W moving impressionist piece wrinkled by age remains a timeless if unremarkable document of two histories.
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