- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 43 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: April 22, 2008
- Originally Released: 1898
- Label: Kino Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Entertainment Weekly - 01/11/2002
"...The cinematic tools we take for granted -- dissolves, wipes, special effects -- first saw the light of screen under the direction of conjurer Georges Melies..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Decades before the term special effects was coined, audiences of the newborn cinema were witnessing spectacular screen illusions, courtesy of the medium's first master magician: Georges Melies.
Such films as The Eclipse (1907) and Long Distance Wireless Photography (1908) not only demonstrate Melie's astounding employment of double exposure, makeup, editing and theatrical trickery but provide mesmerizing insight into the social context of his work, which blended Victorian approaches to astronomy, superstition and feminine beauty with the unnatural wonders of the 20th century technology and heavy doses of slapstick. The centerpiece of the collection is The Impossible Voyage(1904), presented with the authentic frame-by-frame hand-coloring and narration penned by Melies himself.
George Melies: Cinema Magician is a documentary on the filmmaker's life, integrating rare photographs, early drawings and numerous clips. It charts Melies rise from shoe factory worker to proprietor of Paris's mystical Theatre Robert-Doudin, where he learned the skills to become a cinematic illusionist and developed an interest in the supernatural, exquisitely represented in The Mysterious Retort(1906) and The Black Imp(1905).
Georges Melies' innovations led to some of the earliest examples of fantasy filmmaking in the history of cinema. His creative time lapses, early experiments and use of the cinematic technique gave birth to ways of storytelling still commonly used today. This collection of shorts and experiments ranges from avant-garde to science fiction to documentary and greatly influenced the art of cinema both as a narrative form and a dreamy forum for magical imagery. Included in this collection are the following short films: "The Four Troublesome Heads" (1898), "Fat and Lean Wrestling Match" (1900),"The One-Man Band" (1900), "The Man with the Rubber Head" (1901), "Bluebeard" (1901), "A Trip to the Moon" (1902), "The Infernal Boiling Pot" (1903), "The Infernal Cakewalk" (1903), "The Music Lover (1903), The Living Playing Cards (1904), Hilarious Posters (1904), Imperceptible Transmutations" (1904), "Untameable Whiskers" (1904), "The Scheming Gambler's Paradise" (1905), and "The Devilish Tenant" (1909). Also included are several early experimental tests that Melies attempted and a documentary explaining the man and his vision, "The Magic of Melies" (1997) by Jacques Meny.
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