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Georges Méliès: Cinema Magician (1978)

Documentary on Georges Méliès life and works.
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Georges Méliès (1861-1938), cinema pioneer. A first-person narration traces Méliès' early interests in drawing and magic shows. He builds a studio and constructs his own camera-projector, recruits dancers from the opera and actors from the cinema to make a variety of films that tell whole stories: histories, dramas, documentaries, and ads. He moves from farce into sophisticated comedies, developing cinematic tricks (dissolves, split screens, and double exposure) to create artificially-arranged scenes. Then, the cinema passes him by, and he lives the last years of his life in poverty, selling toys out of a shop near the Montparnasse train station, with Jeanne d'Alcy his star. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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A pretty good general overview of the work of Méliès, but way too short and superficial for the real fans
7 September 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This was the final film included on the Kino DVD entitled "The Magic of Méliès" and it is the fourth of a five volume set called "The Movies Begin". Unlike all the other films on the disk, this one is a documentary on the films of the great director. I appreciate the beautiful and pristine quality of most of the prints used in the film and I really liked the film's style--having the narrator talk as if it is Méliès himself talking about himself and his craft. For the average person who knows nothing about his films, it's a wonderful overview. But, for film nuts (like myself), it's way too short and gives too little information. The documentary needed to be at least twice as long and tell more about the man himself--as I felt the film was actually pretty detached about Méliès--talking ABOUT him but providing few real significant insights.


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