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The India Rubber Head (1901)

L'homme à la tête en caoutchouc (original title)
A chemist carries out a bizarre experiment with his own head.

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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 head increases in size and continues to enlarge until it becomes truly colossal while making faces. The chemist, fearing to burst it, opens a cock in the tube. The head immediately contracts and resumes its original size. He then calls his assistant and informs him of his discovery. The assistant, wishing to experiment for himself, seizes the bellows and blows into the head with all his might. The head swells until it bursts with a crash, knocking over the two experimenters. Written by Anonymous

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Short | Comedy

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1901 (France)  »

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A gumifejű ember  »

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Entertaining then, entertaining now
17 March 2012 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Georges Méliès creates a now familiar illusion of a head increasing in size in The Indian Rubber Head, something that was considered groundbreaking in those times because of the super-impositions it uses to bring together the three frames. The one ahead has Georges play a chemist conducting a baffling experiment of inflating a human head ("how did he get the head, by the way? Was the chemist a murderer who severed his victim's head for experiments?" I bet this is what a few crazy analysts must be pondering!) after placing it on a table and blowing air through a rubber tube with the help of bellows. The scene behind is painted, and the bulbous head was done with another camera trick, and all these devices have been explained lucidly by a fellow reviewer in IMDb.

I admire Méliès' devotion to his work; just look how freely and delightedly he plays the characters in the film. I salute such committed individuals and would like if others can open-mindedly appreciate these vintage works.


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