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A New Way of Traveling (1908)

Voyage oriental (original title)
Two grotesquely costumed Orientals seem to be coaxing a clumsy looking Chinese damsel to take a trip with them. The equipage proposed is a queer barrel and when she finally raises her ... See full summary »

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Two grotesquely costumed Orientals seem to be coaxing a clumsy looking Chinese damsel to take a trip with them. The equipage proposed is a queer barrel and when she finally raises her unshapely self from the floor she crawls into it, while the two men mount the cask a-straddle. It promptly moves upward, and the next view shows them in mid-air. They sail around among the planets, which assume all manner of weird forms, the men managing to retain secure positions until suddenly a storm hits them and the curious craft goes hurtling through space; down it goes, through lightning, until it splashes into the sea and strikes the bottom. The damsel crawls out and all three become witnesses of marvelous subaqueous occurrences. A huge starfish is seen, with human heads on each point, and subterranean fungi and other growths keep moving before them in a bewildering maze. Again and again they view wonderful evolutions in which figure all manner of imps and water nymphs. This performance over, the... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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Short | Comedy

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8 March 1908 (USA)  »

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A New Way of Traveling  »

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1.33 : 1
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Under the Sea
23 September 2013 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Over the past decade, enough of Segundo de Chomon's movies have crept out from the archives to show him as a skilled competitor to Georges Melies as a creator of fantasy films. Although this one is nothing special in that line, it certainly is a competent combination of stage and screen magic as motion is shown via cyclorama and then a fantastic view of life under the oceans is revealed via masking techniques, as people in fantastic costumes apparently scroll down the middle of the screen.

Although the careful modern viewer will recognize these tricks and the way they are executed, the elaborate nature of the set dressings and the costumes make them a film maker worthy of fighting Melies for his market. De Chomon would outlast Melies, backed by Pathe Frere's budgets and access to markets, but mostly as a maker of travelogues.


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