One of the greatest of black art pictures. The conjurer appears before the audience, with his head in its proper place. He then removes his head, and throwing it in the air, it appears on ... See full summary »
Porter's sequential continuity editing links several shots to form a narrative of firemen responding to a house fire. They leave the station with their horse drawn pumper, arrive on the ... See full summary »
George S. Fleming,
Edwin S. Porter
James H. White
In this scene is shown a magician behind an ordinary table, upon which he suddenly and mysteriously causes to appear a large box, into which he leaps. The sides of the box fall to the ... See full summary »
A weary traveler stops at an inn along the way to get a good night's sleep, but his rest is interrupted by odd happenings when he gets to his room--beds vanishing and re-appearing, candles ... See full summary »
A bearded magician holds up a large playing card and makes it larger. He tears up a card of a queen, burns the torn bits, and a life-size Queen of Hearts card appears; then, it becomes ... See full summary »
A man dressed in red is ushered into an antechamber in a Castle and offered a seat. When he tried to sit down the chair moves to the other side of the room causing the man to fall on the ... See full summary »
One of the greatest of black art pictures. The conjurer appears before the audience, with his head in its proper place. He then removes his head, and throwing it in the air, it appears on the table opposite another head, and both detached heads sing in unison. The conjurer then removes it a third time. You then see all three of his heads, which are exact duplicates, upon the table at one time, while the conjurer again stands before the audience with his head perfectly intact, singing in unison with the three heads upon the table. He closes the picture by bowing himself from the stage. Written by
This film is a very early example of special effects wizardry. Considering that it was made in the 19th century, its only fair to say that it holds up very well. Most people can work out now how the effects were achieved but that's irrelevant, as they are done so well. George Melies took a diametrically opposite approach to cinema to the Lumiere brothers. Both were pioneers but the latter saw the new medium as a way of capturing reality, while Melies realised early on that it was perfect for creating the impossible. As a result, Melies movies remain imaginative and entertaining to this day, while the Lumiere films retain historical significance but aren't too interesting otherwise. In this sense Melies is the true forefather of the movies, while the Lumieres are essentially the first documentarians.
In The Four Troublesome Heads we have another magic show. Melies plays a character who removes his head several times. The squabbling heads then sing a song. It's basic but cleverly done. And, taking into account the year it was made, it's pretty out there.
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