French Resistance activist Andre Devigny is imprisoned by the Nazis, and devotes his waking hours to planning an elaborate escape. Then, on the same day, he is condemned to death, and given... See full summary »
Charles Le Clainche,
Scientists from all over the world are meeting to discuss the best way to reach the North Pole. Professor Maboul demonstrates for them the innovative equipment that he has designed for the ... See full summary »
The old granny reads to a little girl from a book, and between paragraphs she tells the child of the wonders of Fairyland. Then, the child tiring, she places it affectionately in bed, 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... See full summary »
The opium fiend is seen in a den, puffing on this terrible narcotic. He then falls fast asleep and dreams that he is at home with his wife. He asks for something to drink and he is given ... 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 »
"The Knight of the Snow" is one of the last films Georges Méliès made. By now, he was under contract for his former rival Pathé, where he made a few of his most lavish productions, including this one. Here, Méliès performed in front of the camera as the Devil, for what I assume was the last timea role he played numerous times throughout his oeuvre, including in "The Devil in the Convent" (1899), "The Infernal Cake-Walk", "The Infernal Cauldron", "The Damnation of Faust" (all three from 1903), "Faust and Marguerite" (1904), "The Merry Frolics of Satan" (1906) and "Satan in Prison" (1907). His incarnation of Satan this time is a sprightly antagonist who kidnaps a princess by locking her in a cage and taking off through the sky in a dragon-pulled carriage. Even after the princess has been rescued by the hero, the prince of darkness gets the last laugh by "rescuing" his villainous pawn from being hung by men dressed like monks with Klansmen hoods and taking him down the trap door, to what one assumes is Hell.
An interesting aspect of these later Méliès films is his adoption of some cinematic techniques that he had shunned earlier in his career. One sequence seems to have some scene dissection with a POV shot as the Knight peers through a telescope at the dragon carriage. And there's a panning tracking shot of the knight as he crawls through a cave to rescue the princess from a dungeon. Otherwise, there are plenty of the usual Méliès tropes: theatricality with the cinematically edited special effects, the fairy guiding the hero, the journey structure and dancing girls.
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