While appearing very crude today, for 1904 it was pretty advanced.
The subject matter for this film is very common to the filmmaker. It shows a magician (Méliès himself) making things appear and disappear. At the end, he and his female assistant appear to magically change places.
When seen today, "The Fugitive Apparitions" appears quaint and very dated. The film tricks are easy to understand and poorly done. HOWEVER, this was 1904. And, Georges Méliès was actually a pioneer in using some of these film tricks. While he's been stopping the camera and re-starting it in quite a few earlier films to make things seem to appear and disappear as if by magic, here he uses some of his earliest dissolving techniques--making things appear to change before our very eyes. This took some work and, oddly, the dissolves are much better than his use of stop-motion to make things appear and disappear. Well worth seeing if you are a nut for early cinema.
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