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Metamorphoses (1912)

Métamorphoses (original title)
The most famous magician is outdone in this film, for, by the simple means of a wand and an empty glass, toys are transformed into animals, animals into flowers and flowers into a bevy of beautiful girls.

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The most famous magician is outdone in this film, for, by the simple means of a wand and an empty glass, toys are transformed into animals, animals into flowers and flowers into a bevy of beautiful girls.

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Short | Comedy

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17 December 1912 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Metamorphoses  »

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1.33 : 1
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Released in the US as a split reel along with the drama A Rival of Caruso (1912). See more »

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First Cinema Ends in Flames and Close-Ups
4 October 2013 | by See all my reviews

For most of his career, Segundo de Chomon had been the competitor of Georges Melies. In 1912, the year that Melies turned out his last pictures, de Chomon did his last in the style of Melies: a magic act of transformations.

However, while Melies' work had remained largely static for the previous five years, growing in size and spectacle rather than in essence, here we see that de Chomon, who had begun in the industry as a cameraman, had learned much. Melies' work had remained a mixture of stage and simple camera illusion, smoke and mirrors and stopped cameras for transformations, all shot in medium long shot, whether real or illusory. In this movie, de Chomon not only uses these tricks, he uses stop motion animation freely in an effort to keep the now simple magic act up to date.

Because there were no more works in this vein, it would appear that this was not a financial success. Both their times had passed. Melies lost his studio and burned his negatives in despair. De Chomon went back into more purely cinematographic efforts, including travelogues.


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