5.1/10
71
5 user 1 critic

Mysterious Cafe, or Mr. and Mrs. Spoopendyke Have Troubles with a Waiter (1901)

| Short, Fantasy
As the above title indicates, the scene does not take place in an ordinary restaurant, but one in which all natural rules of order and gravitation are reversed. The couple above mentioned ... See full summary »
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As the above title indicates, the scene does not take place in an ordinary restaurant, but one in which all natural rules of order and gravitation are reversed. The couple above mentioned have a most trying experience while endeavoring to partake of a square meal. They find themselves flying about the room from chairs to table, and vice versa, until they are both completely bewildered, ending in a general mix-up, which is sure to provoke much merriment. Written by Edison Catalog

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Short | Fantasy

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Funny but rather inferior and cruel
8 March 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In the late 1890s and up to almost WWI, the Frenchman, Georges Méliès, made a huge number of wonderful short films that were significantly better than his competition. Instead of the usual dull 30 seconds to a minute and a half of static filming of mundane subjects (such as the work done by the Lumiere brothers or Edison), his films abounded with great camera trickery and wild stories. This was probably inspired by the fact he was a magician and then a film maker. His work was so popular that soon other film makers copied his films. Some made broad copies in the style of Méliès whereas others copied the films nearly exactly--never crediting the source--though they were invariably inferior films.

In this film, a couple go to a sparsely decorated restaurant. Through the use of stop-motion, things appear and disappear again and again, though the action isn't very seamless for this style of film--with many of the scenes appearing jumpy because the actors did not stay in quite their original poses when the camera was re-started. Oddly, the film ended on a very cruel note, as the couple then appeared to beat the waiter to death or at least try to.

Because the stop-motion wasn't executed very well and because the subject had been done before (even by the same Edison Company), this one merits a 5.


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