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Tchin-Chao, the Chinese Conjuror (1904)

Le thaumaturge chinois (original title)
Not Rated | | Short, Fantasy | 30 April 1904 (USA)
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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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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30 April 1904 (USA)  »

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Tchin-Chao, the Chinese Conjuror  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

Edited into Méliès, los Orígenes (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice to watch, but among Méliès' worst I have seen.
7 September 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This short silent film is part of the DVD collection entitled "The Magic of Méliès" and is the fourth volume of THE MOVIES BEGIN series from Kino Video. Unlike copies of Méliès' films that are posted on the internet, the prints for these short films are exceptionally crisp and clean and feature wonderful musical scores. Oddly, though, is that aside from a few films such as THE BLACK IMP and THE IMPOSSIBLE VOYAGE, most of the shorts chosen for this DVD are actually not among the best of Méliès' films--having a strong tendency to show is "stagy" material as opposed to the films that have elaborate sets and plots. In particular, my favorites such as BARBE-BLEUE and LE VOYAGE DANS LE LUNE (his most famous film) are not on this DVD.

This video makes it very obvious that Méliès began his career as a stage magician. In this film, he is almost unrecognizable in Chinese makeup and dress, but the act is pure stage magic. Because it is simply a magic act, the trick cinematography instead of enhancing the film just makes the magic seem not so "magical" as you can tell the camera is stopping and starting to make the tricks come to be.


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