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Tchin-Chao, the Chinese Conjuror (1904)
"Le thaumaturge chinois" (original title)

 -  Short | Fantasy  -  30 April 1904 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 438 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

A Chinese conjurer stands next to a table, it becomes two tables. A fan becomes a parasol, lanterns appear and disappear. The conjurer spins the open parasol in front of himself, and a dog ... See full summary »

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Title: Tchin-Chao, the Chinese Conjuror (1904)

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Storyline

A Chinese conjurer stands next to a table, it becomes two tables. A fan becomes a parasol, lanterns appear and disappear. The conjurer spins the open parasol in front of himself, and a dog leaps out from behind it. The dog becomes a woman, then a second woman appears. The conjurer sits them each on a box a few feet apart: suddenly the women have changed places. The disappearing and the transfers continue in front of a simple backdrop. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Short | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Release Date:

30 April 1904 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tchin-Chao, the Chinese Conjuror  »

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1.33 : 1
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Effects in this film were achieved with a combination of double exposure, theatrical tricks (standard live theatrical illusions), clever make-up and heavy editing techniques (many of the them invented or perfected by Melies). See more »

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User Reviews

I feel dizzy
20 March 2000 | by (Gainesville, FL) – See all my reviews

I watched this as one of the shorts on The magic of Melies video cassette released by Kino on Video, 1994. Image quality was good. Music matched the mood of the film. No color was added. Cropping did not appear to interfere with the film. Frame speed appeared to be to fast. This should give an idea of the technical quality of the release I watched.

This film consists mainly of special effects being used to create a magic show. The chinese magician dances across the screen with a parasol. As his swings his parasol past places on the screen various items appear. A dog appears and becomes a woman. A chinaman is conjured to pair with her. They dance and fade from one part of the screen to another. The effect is dizzying, but I think this may have been partly because frame speed was too fast an the copy I watched.

I recommend this film to people interested in very early film history. For general viewers it is amusing, and not long enough to be tedious, but not that interesting either.


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