This shows a prince entering upon the stage of the King's private theatre. He is about to do a few mystifying tricks for the amusement of the court. Taking a large sheet of cardboard, he ... See full summary »
The background of this picture represents a scene along the beautiful river Seine in Paris. A gentleman enters, and taking a blackboard from the side of the picture, he draws on it a sketch... 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 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 Chinese conjurer stands next to a table, it becomes two tables. A fan becomes a parasol, lanterns appear and disappear. The conjurer spins the open parasol in front of himself, and a dog ... See full summary »
While appearing very crude today, for 1904 it was pretty advanced.
The subject matter for this film is very common to the filmmaker. It shows a magician (Méliès himself) making things appear and disappear. At the end, he and his female assistant appear to magically change places.
When seen today, "The Fugitive Apparitions" appears quaint and very dated. The film tricks are easy to understand and poorly done. HOWEVER, this was 1904. And, Georges Méliès was actually a pioneer in using some of these film tricks. While he's been stopping the camera and re-starting it in quite a few earlier films to make things seem to appear and disappear as if by magic, here he uses some of his earliest dissolving techniques--making things appear to change before our very eyes. This took some work and, oddly, the dissolves are much better than his use of stop-motion to make things appear and disappear. Well worth seeing if you are a nut for early cinema.
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