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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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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 »

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

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User Reviews

Technically Well-Done, Though Rather Bland
14 May 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

There are a number of pretty good visual effects in this otherwise simple (and rather bland) Georges Méliès feature. Most of it just shows the conjurer 'Tchin-Chao' performing a stage act. In itself, the act is bland in some places, interesting in others. From a technical viewpoint, the camera tricks are generally effective, and are usually convincing because most of them are seamless.

Despite the quality, this is not among the best of Méliès's films, because there just isn't a lot to it. It's easy to appreciate (and at times to admire) the careful technique that you come to expect from the great cinema pioneer, but aside from that, there just isn't very much to get excited about in terms of the way that the camera effects are worked into the rest of the situation. Overall, the feature is mostly of interest as an example of technical skill with the camera.


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