One of the greatest of black art pictures. The conjurer appears before the audience, with his head in its proper place. He then removes his head, and throwing it in the air, it appears on ... See full summary »
A 19th-century drama about a man whose heart was replaced with a clock when he was born. The situation dictates that he should avoid feeling strong emotions -- love, most of all -- but he just can't keep his feelings under wraps.
Grand Corps Malade
Come take a trip through the minds of 3 offbeat degenerates as they get into a poker game that brings back trips from the past! A mysterious, yet all too familiar man brings a drug named "... See full summary »
This excellent documentary encompasses the life and films of Georges Méliès. I have seen many halfhearted attempts at documenting filmmakers' lives on film, so this was a pleasant surprise. Méliès took his enthusiasm and magic from his Robert Houdin Theatre and projected it onto the silver screen--films full of trick shots and wacky humour. Director Jacques Meny's documentary displays all the zest of a Méliès short film.
Méliès was more consistent and consistently entertaining than his contemporary filmmakers. Nevertheless, that consistency would be his downfall, as others surpassed his theatrical style and developed continuity editing and used natural settings, as well as more adroit business tactics and larger outpouring of product. At once, Méliès was atop the cinema world, yet would end up burning his films.
Meny looks at Méliès from various angles: discussing his life, his film-making, his films and the world that influenced him. Various techniques are used to tell the story: film clips, photographs and artwork, interviews, reenactments and first-person narration. The most impressive are the use of a miniature reconstruction of Méliès's studio and demonstrations of how he did the trick shots and other special effects. Yet, they made the mistake of placing the English voiceovers on top of the muffled original French in the translated version. Either use subtitles or rid the original language completely for the voiceovers.
The documentary is not strictly chronological. There is no scene-by-scene dissection of "A Trip to the Moon" here, or just boring talking heads; the focus is on the enthusiasm, the magic, of Méliès via the enthusiasm of his admirers. With any other early filmmaker--the Lumiére brothers, Edwin S. Porter, D.W. Griffith--such emotional appeals would perhaps be sappy. Méliès, however, was so vivacious that here they serve harmony and poignancy.
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