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Pickpock ne craint pas les entraves (1909)

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November 1909 (France)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Camera Tricks
8 March 2009 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

This is a funny variation on a chase farce as a pickpocket escape from les flics by use of a lot of camera tricks. Although they are crude to the modern eye, they are executed with excellent speed and fine humor.

More than that, this short subject is an example of a stage of importing Georges Melies' pure trick film into the film grammar that was now becoming standard. Melies had directed several versions of the Haunted Castle, Inn and Restaurant and his work had already been widely imitated by Edison, Pathe and Walter Booth. Those efforts, however, offered these transformations and left the audience to provide their enjoyment through them alone and the very crude slapstick of seeing a random stranger being baffled. In this variation, however, they serve the purpose of enabling the pickpocket to escape. Thus they become part of the film's grammar rather than the film's subject.


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