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The Mermaid (1905)

La sirène (original title)
A magician conjures up a mermaid while fishing.

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Storyline

A man in a silk top hat stands in front of an empty aquarium. He pours water into his hat and goes fishing, hooking a small one. He becomes a hobo and catches more and more fish from the hat. Then he starts pulling out rabbits. The backdrop becomes the sea, and a mermaid appears. She flirts and beguiles us. The mermaid becomes a woman who leaves the sea and joins the magician, who becomes Neptune. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Short | Fantasy

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21 October 1905 (Denmark)  »

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The Mermaid  »

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1.33 : 1
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Not especially good or interesting
7 September 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

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.

This is a pretty dull film, as much of it is simply a movie of Méliès performing magic tricks. In person this might be interesting, but on film (where it's no trick to use camera tricks to make a magician seem great), it just doesn't impress. Then, when the mermaid enters the picture, she is pretty sloppily integrated compared to the camera tricks in many of the director's other short films. All in all, among the worst and least inspiring films of this film genius and pioneer.


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