A man sleeps fitfully then dreams that a lovely woman is sitting at the foot of his bed. He reaches to embrace her and she becomes a minstrel, then Pierrot. The clown gestures to the moon ... See full summary »
A fairy godmother magically turns Cinderella's rags to a beautiful dress, and a pumpkin into a coach. Cinderella goes to the ball, where she meets the Prince - but will she remember to leave before the magic runs out?
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 gardener is watering his flowers, when a mischievous boy sneaks up behind his back, and puts a foot on the water hose. The gardener is surprised, and looks into the nozzle to find out why... 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 early Georges Méliès fantasy feature is outstanding for 1898, both in its convincing special visual effects and in its witty good humor, and it's still lots of fun to watch today. There are quite a few lesser-known gems among Méliès's many fantasy features, and this is one of the best ones.
The setup is simple, but Méliès uses it with great skill and imagination. Méliès himself appears on screen, and does tricks with his own head. As elementary as the camera tricks are, Méliès was already expert at using them, and as a result most of the illusions are seamless and very enjoyable. There is also a good deal of humor in the ways that Méliès interacts with all of the "Troublesome Heads".
Any film that still survives from the 1890s is usually worth seeing for its historical value, and most of them also provide some kind of interesting information on the techniques or subject matter of the earliest movies. But this is one feature whose value goes well beyond the historical. It's enjoyable in itself, and it is also one of the earliest examples of the genius of one of cinema's most extraordinary pioneers.
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