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 magnificent Venetian oratory. On the left a large bay window through which may be seen the Grand Canal of the city of Venice. In the centre a colonnade and a hemicycle; to the right is a ... See full summary »
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 »
A chemist in his laboratory places upon a table his own head, alive; then fixing upon his head a rubber tube with a pair of bellows, he begins to blow with all his might. Immediately the ... See full summary »
Showing the interior of a kitchen, with the cook trying to embrance and kiss the maid, who drops the dishes and runs away as she hears the proprietor approaching. The cook hides in a ... See full summary »
A traveler puts up at an inn. He hangs his overcoat and hat upon a peg in his room, but he finds, instantly, that his clothes are on his back again. He takes off his coat a second time, but... See full summary »
A man comes onto the stage through the fireplace, divides himself, and sits on stools on either side of a table. He places a woman's head on the table and a hat on her head. She speaks to ... See full summary »
When this picture opens, you see a large book mounted on an easel. An old student is seen poring over old manuscripts when he advances toward the book, and by the aid of some mysterious ... 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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