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Knight of Black Art (1908)
"Le tambourin fantastique" (original title)

 |  Short  |  18 January 1908 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 64 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

We are introduced to the banqueting hall of an old-time castle. Servitors stand awaiting the arrival of their master, who, appearing on the scene, throws his cloak to an attendant; ... See full summary »


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Title: Knight of Black Art (1908)

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We are introduced to the banqueting hall of an old-time castle. Servitors stand awaiting the arrival of their master, who, appearing on the scene, throws his cloak to an attendant; unbuckling his sword, he hands him that also, then at the word of command the attendant throws them upward and they vanish. The knight then takes two large rings, a sheet of paper, which he places on one of the rings, then fitting the other over the paper draws it taut as a drum. Two attendants then hold the paper-covered rings upright, another hands a paint brush and paint to the knight, who proceeds to draw a face on the paper. This at a sign changes into a laughing, roguish character. The knight then plunges his arms through the eyes of the figure and draws therefrom bottles of wine which he hands to an attendant who surreptitiously drinks their contents. Making an incision where the mouth is drawn, our knight takes therefrom shawls, scarves and wraps of the finest texture. Taking the rings from the ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Release Date:

18 January 1908 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Knight of Black Art  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Released in the US as a split reel along with In the Bogie Man's Cave (1907). See more »

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User Reviews

Fun Trick Film from Melies
16 August 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

The Knight Of Black Art (1908)

*** (out of 4)

aka Le tambourin fantastique

George Melies plays the title character who does a variety of tricks in this charming winner. The first big trick has the Knight having his two assistants hold up a round board, which he paints a face and eyes on. Soon the Knight is pulling out various items from the mouth. The second portion of the film features the Knight making himself disappear. I must admit that by 1908 Melies had being doing these "trick" films perhaps way too long and we were starting to get a "been there, done that" feel but that really didn't take away any of the entertainment with this one. I thought all of the effects were quite charming even though it's rather obvious how they were done. This is especially true of the scene where Melies makes himself disappear and even though you can see how it was done, it really doesn't take anything away from the film. Fans of the French master's work should really enjoy this one.

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