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Extraordinary Illusions (1903)
"Illusions funambulesques" (original title)

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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 151 users  
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Pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès performs his cine-magic act.


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Title: Extraordinary Illusions (1903)

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As the film begins, Georges Melies himself is sitting on a table before a painted stage backdrop, wearing an Asian outfit, fanning himself. He rises, and in a blink the Asian outfit is replaced by his magician's tux. He makes a stool flip itself in the air, then change into a box labeled [in English] "Magical Box." From it Melies produces a woman's limbs and separate torso, all of which he drapes onto a clothes rack. At his command a woman's head flies out of the box and into his hand; he places it atop the other parts, and instantly it becomes a live woman. They dance together, then he yanks off her clothes in one sweeping gesture to reveal another outfit underneath. He flings a wig and hat onto her, and they dance once more. When the woman turns herself into a male chef in white uniform, complete with hat, Melies is displeased; he strikes the chef who explodes in white feathers. He reconstitutes the feathers into the woman, but as they take a bow together she turns herself back into... Written by wmorrow59

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Extraordinary Illusions
25 June 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Extraordinary Illusions (1903)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

aka Illusions funambulesques

Georges Melies trick film has him once again playing a magician. His trick here is bringing a doll woman out on stage and then magically turning her into a real woman. That trick there is pretty good but I was more impressed with an earlier trick where Melies makes a table flip over countless times. The trick of Melies throwing the clothes on the woman is something he's done in previous films but the trick still works well here. I think a little more humor would have helped the film but there's no denying that the special effects still hold up quite well. The final trick of Melies turning invisible is impressive as well.

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