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Modern Sculptors (1908)

Sculpteur moderne (original title)
The first scene presents before the astonished eyes of the spectators a solid piece of marble, which the minute it is placed on a table seems to take life, and one can follow a snake-like ... See full summary »

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(as Chomont)
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Julienne Mathieu
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Storyline

The first scene presents before the astonished eyes of the spectators a solid piece of marble, which the minute it is placed on a table seems to take life, and one can follow a snake-like line branding on the polished face of the stone the name of the house of Pathé Frères. As soon as this stone has been engraved, as by magic, a handsome young lady appears with a huge lump of clay covered with a cloth. As soon as the cloth is removed from the soft mass it starts whirling and turning as if stricken mad, and one is asking one's self what all the contentions are going to lead to, when the vague shape of an animal not yet discernible seems to appear, and before one has time to make one's mind as to the category of brutes to which it belongs one sees the form of a remarkably well made orang-outang modeled out of the clay, who calmly smokes his pipe. Then the statue is removed by the same winning young lady and another covered block of the same substance is carried forward, and we see the ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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12 April 1908 (USA)  »

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Modern Sculptors  »

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1.33 : 1
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Dated Stop-Motion Trick Film
15 August 2010 | by (www.2020-movie-reviews.com) – See all my reviews

Despite the impressive use of stop-motion camera-work here, trick films like this were beginning to look a little dated back in 1908 simply because they failed to tell a story - which more and more films were beginning to do. Filmgoers were no longer astounded by the sheer fact of a film's existence and the simple tricks that could be performed with a camera, and were looking for something a little more sophisticated.

Segundo de Chomon is largely forgotten today, but in his time he was a rival to the infinitely more famous Georges Melies. He crafts quite an interesting film here which starts slowly with a lady presenting various sculptures and paintings in which the figures assume different poses. Things improve when we are shown moving figures created out of mounds of clay - mice on a boot, an eagle, a crooked old lady who turns into a real person before being once again transformed into a clay figure. It all seems fairly rudimentary in these days of CGI effects, but it still manages to retain an element of wonder.


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