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The One-Man Band (1900)

L'homme orchestre (original title)
| Short, Comedy
A band-leader assembles an orchestra by mystifying means.

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A band-leader has arranged seven chairs for the members of his band. When he sits down in the first chair, a cymbal player appears in the same chair, then rises and sits in the next chair. As the cymbal player sits down, a drummer appears in the second chair, and then likewise moves on to the third chair. In this way, an entire band is soon formed, and is then ready to perform. Written by Snow Leopard

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For 1900, great stuff
2 September 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Director Méliès later went on to make several other shorts where he acted and replicated himself (in two cases, popping off his head and using it to make a whole bunch of singing heads), but I think this is one of the earliest of this type of film (the first coming in 1898). But, instead of pulling off his head, he is able replicate himself many times until he is an entire performing ensemble. While compared to later trick cinematography this isn't a great special effect, for its day it was amazing and quite funny. For a similar type experience (though of course a lot better because of advancements in camera-work), see Buster Keaton's THE PERFORMANCE--where he not only plays all the performers, but all the members of the audience (including the women)!

If you want to see this film online, go to Google and type in "Méliès" and then click the video button for a long list of his films that are viewable without special software.


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