The magician appears upon the stage with his assistant. Taking a handkerchief from his pocket, he causes an empty jar to suddenly appear under it. He places the empty jar upon the table and... See full summary »
This film is a winner, it being one of the most laughable of mysterious picture ever made. An extremely lean man and an extremely fat man are engaged in a wrestling match. The lean man ... See full summary »
At the royal court, a prince is presenting the princess whom he is pledged to marry, when a witch suddenly appears. Though driven off, the witch soon returns, summons some of her servants, ... 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 ... See full summary »
The entire story of Christmastide is here depicted. The scene opens in a large boudoir of an apparently wealthy man's home. His children, assisted by their governess, are about to retire. ... See full summary »
The picture opens showing a gentleman in full evening dress costume. Removing his opera hat and cloak, he leaves the hat on the table and by a few passes causes it to assume immense ... See full summary »
A conjurer with white beard and turban moves about in front of a building with an elaborate facade. He spies a golden beetle, about the size of a human infant, leaning against the wall. He ... See full summary »
Melies is best known for his 1902 version of VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE and he worked in an enormous variety of genres -- today we would call them genres, but at the time, he was just turning out stuff to fill in at his theater and to sell to people who wanted to show movies. But he began as a stage magician and although he incorporated stage magic into his films and invented cinematic magic via cuts, masking and other method, he remained a magician to the end and this film, about two minutes in length, is the best pure example of stage magic in his surviving films. Yes, there are lots of camera tricks, but it comes out as stage magic. And, looking at recent movies about stage magicians, like THE PRESTIEGE, you begin to see how much presence the role requires -- he has it.
This is one of the many previously lost or infrequently seen Melies pictures that have been made available by Serge Bromberg, David Shepherd and a myriad of other hands in the newly issued DVD set GEORGES MELIES: FIRST WIZARD OF CINEMA. Required viewing for anyone interested in the history of movies ..... and a lot of fun.
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