Aboard the futuristic flying machine of his own invention, Professor Mabouloff and his team of intercultural explorers set off on yet another impossible expedition to North Pole's vast landscapes. What wonders await the bold adventurers?
In this hand-colored short, a magician and his assistant do a series of magic tricks, including making potted plants appear, among others. Melies played the magician, and the actor Manuel played his assistant.
Scenes. 1. The Route to the Depths of Perdition (a Dazzingly Sensational New Effect.) 2. The Fantastical Ride. 3. The Gloomy Pass. 4. The Stream. 5. The Entrance to the Lower Regions. 6. ... See full summary »
Based on an early 13th century myth, this short film tells the story of a Jew who is forced to walk throughout eternity having refused water to Christ on his way to Calvary. He falls asleep... See full summary »
The IMDb date for this short could be debated--Wikipedia claims Méliès never actually made any films at all in 1910, and in fact ceased production by 1909, hence this movie was made that year--while film historian John Frazer argues he made movies both years. It remains unclear to me which is right--the excuse for not making any movies in 1910, that he went to travel Europe with a stage magic spectacle, seems accurate enough, but a historian's claims would tend to be more correct than online sources.
This 10-minute Méliès film, outside his head movies, is one of the most bizarre works he made in his entire career in concept and execution. One might even go as far as to call it a science-fiction movie. The film begins with a doctor (Méliès himself, wearing a wig) in his office when his assistants bring in a fat man who can barely get around due to his bulk. They start with running a few experiments to see what's causing his weight, before taking action and running him through various machines which are more like pure terror than help. Finally, the man's problems are solved in a completely Méliès-esque twist, not to be spoiled for those who haven't seen it.
If there are any flaws to be acknowledged in this film, one such thing is, evidently, the pacing. Even at only 10 minutes long it feels padded and drags along rather slowly, containing an overly lengthy opening sequence. That said, the special effects are excellent and better done than many other ones from the same era, even from Méliès himself. The dismembered body multiple exposures looks better than all the CGI seen nowadays and the bizarre, humorous atmosphere that is the director's trademark is certainly there. In addition, the medium closeups for the 'before' and 'after' were also rather unusual for Méliès and look good here, although many other filmmakers, such as Griffith, were starting to use such techniques more and more. Unique, especially when compared to the other works the director was making at this point.
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