Of all the beautiful stories ever told none are more interesting than Gulliver's Travels. How Gulliver set out on a journey and was shipwrecked on an island, where he found strange people, ... See full summary »
One of the greatest of black art pictures. The conjurer appears before the audience, with his head in its proper place. He then removes his head, and throwing it in the air, it appears on ... See full summary »
A chemist in his laboratory places upon a table his own head, alive; then fixing upon his head a rubber tube with a pair of bellows, he begins to blow with all his might. Immediately the ... See full summary »
A bearded magician holds up a large playing card and makes it larger. He tears up a card of a queen, burns the torn bits, and a life-size Queen of Hearts card appears; then, it becomes ... See full summary »
An Egyptian prince has lost his beloved wife and he has sought a dervish who dwells at the base of the sphinx. The prince promises him a vast fortune if the dervish will only give him the ... See full summary »
A combination gambling den and bawdy house is set up so that croupiers, patrons, prostitutes, and the owner can quickly change it all into a mercantile establishment when the cops stage a ... See full summary »
The Flicker Alley DVD "Georges Méliès: Encore New Discoveries (1896-1911)" misidentified a partial hand-colored print of the 1906 film "Alchimiste Parafaragaramus ou La cornue infernale" (The Mysterious Retort) as this film, "L'hallucination de l'alchimiste" (An Hallucinated Alchemist) from 1897, which continues to be considered a lost film. A comparison with the black and white print of "The Mysterios Retort" on Flicker Alley's prior DVD set "Georges Méliès First Wizard of Cinema (1896-1913)" demonstrates this. See more »
As I have said in a few other reviews, films back before the beginning of the 20th century were pretty lame. The film makers simply didn't understand that so much more was possible and films were amazingly mundane. Folks sitting about playing cards, workers leaving the factory and children eating were the norm and films were seldom longer than about 30 seconds. So, when Georges Méliès created products like "The Hallucinated Alchemist", it stands head and shoulders above the rest.
The film is gorgeous and is among the first to be hand-colored (a process that became a bit more common in the following decade). It gives it a luminous quality that will no doubt shock some viewers who never expected colors. The film consists of an alchemist sitting in front of a giant glass container as he dreams...and lots of crazy stuff appears inside the container. The only problems with the film is that there isn't a lot of plot otherwise and it ends abruptly--like it's missing the last few seconds of the film. But it looks amazing.
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