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Tchin-Chao, the Chinese Conjuror (1904)

Le thaumaturge chinois (original title)
Not Rated | | Short, Fantasy | 30 April 1904 (USA)
As we are treated with a rare appearance from a true master of the miraculous Asian thaumaturgy, a fine display of multiplication commences, and a serene young geisha completes the enchantment. What does the Chinese conjurer have in mind?

Director:

Georges Méliès
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Cast

Credited cast:
Georges Méliès
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Storyline

As we are treated with a rare onstage appearance from a genuine master of the miraculous Asian thaumaturgy--in the background--a traditional Chinese gate with a tiled roof and a pair of vermilion-painted beams dwarfs the skilful conjurer. But, what exciting surprises does he have in store for us? Without delay, a fine display of multiplication commences, as an ordinary wooden table duplicates itself and a wild parade of folding fans, beautiful parasols and ornamental lanterns complete the enchantment. However, the best is saved for last, as a serene young geisha materialises in front of our very eyes. What does Tchin-Chao, the Chinese conjurer, have in mind? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1900s | 900s | asia | asian | chinese man | See All (55) »

Genres:

Short | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Release Date:

30 April 1904 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tchin-Chao, the Chinese Conjuror See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Georges Méliès,Star-Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Effects in this film were achieved with a combination of double exposure, theatrical tricks (standard live theatrical illusions), clever make-up and heavy editing techniques (many of the them invented or perfected by Melies). See more »

Connections

Edited into Méliès, los Orígenes (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Méliès the Eastern magician
11 April 2007 | by ackstasisSee all my reviews

Dressed in Chinese costume and make-up, Georges Méliès is almost unrecognisable, though he does bring to this film that passionate enthusiasm that is evident in every single one of his works. Having worked as a stage magician prior to acquiring an interest in cinema, the director and performer is certainly in his element here, making lamp shades turn into dogs, dogs turn into women, and then a woman into a flock of chickens. He employs many of his usual camera tricks – substitutions, cross dissolves – and most of them are relatively seamless.

However, in this case, Méliès' usual clever camera-work serves somehow to lessen the films impact, rather than enhance it. This film basically being a staged magic act, it is somewhat disheartening to already know that most of "magic tricks" were achieved simply through camera tricks, rather than the elaborate, creative stunts of deception that would ordinarily be demanded of a traditional stage magician. What worked in countless other Méliès shorts simply didn't work here. This has nothing to do with the quality of the actual work, but merely with the context in which it is used.

Having said that, however, there is absolutely no reason why somebody should not watch 'Tchin-Chao: The Chinese Conjurer' for a few minutes of light entertainment. Some of the tricks are quite fun and imaginative, and it certainly looks like, as always, Méliès himself is having a grand time!


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