Into a photography studio full of large fantastic machines steps an elderly couple. The bearded proprietor explains the equipment and gives them a demonstration: he starts machines whirring...
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An astronomer of age, wealth, and erudition conducts classes in his home. His students are not always respectful, and he suffers their pranks and high jinks. Then, at noon, everything ... See full summary »
A peddler of "the best glue" sets up his outdoor stall. A crowd gathers for a demonstration. As he gives his pitch, two observant cops decide drive off his customers and close him down, ... 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 stands in front of a backdrop painted with a nature scene. From a fan, he conjures a costume, then a woman appears inside it. An assistant carries in a mannequin; they dress her and ... See full summary »
A wizard sleeps at a table in his well-appointed sitting room. From a drawer in the table, a snake appears. The snake begins a series of transformations: he becomes a jester, a spider, and ... See full summary »
Into a photography studio full of large fantastic machines steps an elderly couple. The bearded proprietor explains the equipment and gives them a demonstration: he starts machines whirring, and projects a painting of three women onto a large screen; suddenly the women begin to move. The customers are impressed. First the women sits in the special seat: she's projected onto the screen, and her good nature comes out in the laughing image. Then it's the man's turn, but the machine discloses a vastly different nature in him. Will his reaction threaten our proprietor's inventions? Written by
At first a bit dull, then it really hits its stride towards the end
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.
When the movie begins, the film seems a tad ordinary. However, as it progresses, the camera tricks become more and more impressive. And, to top off an already good film, the ending is very funny slapstick--with electrocutions and pratfalls galore. While not the director's best, this is a very good and about average film for Méliès.
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