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The Hilarious Posters (1906)

Les affiches en goguette (original title)
A wall full of advertising posters comes to life.

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A workman glues an advertisement in the center of other adverts on an outside wall along a city walk. It's an ad for "love on credit," featuring a comely lass. The posters come to life, interacting with the characters in the surrounding adverts: a publican's wife is jealous of his talking to the midnight cutie; a cook dumps food on a character beneath him. Then, two flics walk by, and the characters become inanimate. After the cops walk on, life returns. The poster people attack a swell beneath the wall, and he runs for the cops. They return, and the wall falls on them, revealing a gate behind which the poster folks laugh. Chaos ensues. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Short | Comedy | Fantasy

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1906 (France)  »

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The Hilarious Posters  »

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1.33 : 1
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Featured in Une séance Méliès (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Giving life
7 March 2011 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

'The Hilarious Posters (1906)' is a clever effects film from French cinemagician Georges Méliès. A workman affixes a giant poster to a wall and departs, before all the posters come to life to cause mischief. A group of policemen arrive on the scene, but are bombarded with flour, and the poster-figures eventually escape into the real world. The transition from the two-dimensional posters to their flesh-and-blood counterparts is a little abrupt, and might have worked better as a slow fade, but otherwise the effect is impressive. Méliès must have built a nifty film set to house each of the poster characters in the one frame, especially the figures in the top poster (who are depicted, unlike their companions, in full profile). The visual effect - that is, an assumed still image suddenly coming to life - mirrors the advent of cinema itself, at which photographs were suddenly made to move. Méliès later wrote of his first experience with cinema: "a still photograph showing the place Bellecour in Lyon was projected... I had hardly finished speaking when a horse pulling a wagon began to walk towards us, followed by other vehicles and then pedestrians, in short all the animation of the street. Before this spectacle we sat with gaping mouths, struck with amazement, astonished beyond all expression." By recreating this experience with posters we at first assume to be two-dimensional and lifeless, Méliès makes a self-reflexive statement about cinema itself.


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