The magician appears upon the stage with an imp as his assistant. The imp holds a piece of cloth in his hand. At the command of the magician the cloth is suddenly transformed into a ... 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 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 »
To the modern eye, this is obviously a trick film made with double exposure; and Melies, in his role as the Wandering Jew, is quite over the top as he wanders through a field of hard stones, having dreams and visions of Christ on his way to Calvary, the devil tormenting him and of the Mother of God. To a Frenchman of the era, who quite probably saw this film at a fairground -- a prime audience for Melies in this era -- it is simply and purely a movie of faith --- and a certain amount of anti-Semitism, too.
Still, for the time frame it is quite a beautiful, what with Melies ' carefully painted backgrounds lending a three-dimensional air to the film. And for those of us who love Melies' work under any circumstances, it is a temptation to go back to the Europa Film Archives website and look at it again right now.
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