Thursday, June 28, 2018

1898. Anno Tre: Vues Scientifiques: Science and Science Fiction. Fantastic Scenes: Méliès and the Art of the Marvellous.

Une scène d’hypnotisme, I. Catalogue Lumière Vue N° 990. Délire réel ou simulé d’une femme. Opérateur: inconnu. Date: [1897] - [décembre 1898]. Lieu: France. Personnes: Lina de Ferkel. Projections: Programmation d'Effroi ! Scène d'hypnotisme le 2 juin 1901 à Lyon (France) (Le Progrès, 4 juin 1901). Eléments filmiques: négatif Lumière. Pays: France. Genre: spectacle. Sujet: comédien. Séries: info-five-32, Lina de Ferkel

Introduce Mariann Lewinsky.
    Musical interpretation: Stephen Horne on the grand piano and other instruments.
    Viewed at Sala Mastroianni, Bologna, Il Cinema Ritrovato, Anno Tre, 28 June 2018.


Mariann Lewinsky: "Albert Londe (1858–1917) was an important medical researcher, chronophotographer and pioneer in X-ray photography. He used a camera with nine (and later twelve) lenses to make sequential photographs of movements, explosions and ocean waves. A colleague and collaborator of Marey, Charcot and Richer, he worked for many years at the Salpêtrière hospital and published influential collections of chronophotographs."

"The brilliant surgeon and immunologist Eugène-Louis Doyen (1859
1916) used cinematography very early on for educational purposes, and in July 1898 presented three films (among them Manoeuvre du lit opératoire and Hystérectomie abdominale) to the British Medical Society. He produced a collection of about sixty surgery films, with Clément-Maurice and Ambroise-François Parnaland as collaborators. When Parnaland secretly distributed some of the films, with copies turning up at fairground shows, Doyen successfully prosecuted him. It is extraordinary that we know the name of the young woman who appears – or does she act? – in the Scènes de Hypnotisme I and II, Lumière Catalogue nos. 990-991. She was a painter’s model and a professional performer of Poses passionnelles, or Emotional Postures “responding in hypnosis to musical or verbal suggestions. She is able to fall asleep and wake up by herself ” (says her business card). Parapsychologist Albert de Rocha’s book on musical suggestions (1900), designed in pure Art Nouveau style by Alphonse Mucha, includes her portraits by Nadar. She lived in Paris, 84 Rue des Écoles, and the Lumière Catalogue gives away her unconceivable name: Lina de Ferkel. ‘Ferkel’ is German for piglet. Did she know?" Mariann Lewinsky

FEU D’ARTIFICE. Francia, 1898 Regia: Albert Londe. 35 mm. L.: 40 m. Bn Da: CNC – Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée. – AA: Non-fiction. Reduced, expressive, pure vision. Motif: fireworks.

MARCHE DE L’HOMME N. 1. Francia, 1898 Regia: Albert Londe. T. alt.: Démarche pathologique, piste de la Salpêtrière. 35 mm. L.: 15 m. Bn Da: CNC – Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée. – AA: Non-fiction. Stark, reduced, basic observation. Motif: Walking.

[MANOEUVRE DU LIT OPÉRATOIRE] Francia, 1898 Regia: Louis Doyen T. copia: Eine schwierige Behandlung. F.: Clément-Maurice, Ambroise-Françoise Parnaland. Prod.: Louis Doyen 35 mm Da: Filmarchiv Austria. – AA: Non-fiction. A straight record of a surgical procedure. Associations run to torture and surrealism.

[OPÉRATION CHIRURGICALE DU DOCTEUR DOYEN: HYSTÉRECTOMIE ABDOMINALE, ABLATION DE LA TUMEUR] Francia, 1898 Regia: Eugène Louis Doyen F.: Clément-Maurice, Ambroise-Françoise Parnaland. Int.: Eugène Louis Doyen. Prod.: Eugène Louis Doyen 35 mm. L.: 112 m. D.: 6’ Da: CNC – Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée. – AA: Non-fiction. The camera look and camera smile of the surgeon is unsettling as he is conducting a dangerous operation. Many of us were certainly reminded of trick films of Méliès with similar situations of disjecta membra.

UNE SCÈNE DE HYPNOTISME, I Catalogo Lumière n . 990, Francia, 1897 o 1898 Int.: Lina de Ferkel 35 mm Da: Institut Lumière. – AA: A spectacle with a trained performer. A stark and haunting trance scene, real or staged.

UNE SCÈNE DE HYPNOTISME, II Catalogo Lumière n . 991, Francia, 1897 o 1898 Int.: Lina de Ferkel 35 mm Da: Institut Lumière. – AA: A spectacle with a trained performer. A scene of histrionic trance. Associations run to early cinema acting styles with exaggerated gestures.

L’UTILITÉ DES RAYONS X. Francia, 1898 Regia: Gaston Breteau Int.: Gaston Breteau. Prod.: Léon Gaumont et Cie DCP. D.: 1’. Bn Da: Lobster. – AA: Fiction. A thief with his loot hidden inside his clothes is arrested with the help of X-rays.


Mariann Lewinsky: "Georges Méliès made twenty-seven titles in 1898; about ten of them are known to exist. The seven screened in our section are marvellous: a beautiful phantom ride, a cleverly reconstructed actuality (of the USS battleship Maine which sank on 15 February 1898) with some live goldfish and five transformations or trick scenes – which Méliès himself preferred to call scènes fantastiques. They are not only fantastic, astonishing and inventive, they radiate a unique charm of exuberance, of fun and bravura that makes them more enjoyable than anything else in the 1898 strand. And also more enjoyable than most of Méliès’ later productions. Theirs is the irretrievable charm of perfection achieved for the first time in a new thing. These films were screened on Sunday nights in the Théâtre Robert-Houdin. It is important to repeat on every occasion that Méliès did not bring theater or fiction to the cinema. It is the other way round; he put cinematography at the service of the theatre, as he wrote in 1906 (in Les Vues cinématographiques), and for him it was a means to expand the limits of his Art of the Marvellous as he wrote in 1926 (in En marge de l’histoire du cinématographe). Using cinematography he accomplished tricks like replacing Christ on the Cross with seductive Jehanne d’Alcy, the Greek sculptor Pygmalion chasing a hobbling skirt (the recalcitrant lower half of Galatea) and himself disappearing, leaving a little wisp of smoke in the air." Mariann Lewinsky

PANORAMA PRIS D’UN TRAIN EN MARCHE. Francia, 1898 Regia: Georges Méliès. Prod.: Star Film (n. 151) DCP Da: Lobster Films. – AA: Non-fiction. A phantom ride.

LE MAGICIEN Francia, 1898 Regia: Georges Méliès Prod.: Star Film (n. 153) DCP Da: Lobster Films. – AA: Fiction, trick film, of rapid and fantastic metamorphoses.

PYGMALION ET GALATHÉE Francia, 1898 Regia: Georges Méliès Int.: Georges Méliès, Jehanne d’Alcy. Prod.: Star Film (n. 156) 35 mm. L.: 30 m. Bn Da: CNC – Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée. – AA: Fiction, trick film, of transformations. Pygmalion falls in love with Galatea. Heads and bodies keep trading places.

VISITE SOUS-MARINE DU ‘MAINE’ Francia, 1898 Regia: Georges Méliès Prod.: Star Film (n. 147) 35 mm. L.: 32 m Da: BFI – National Archive. – AA: Fiction, trick film, reconstructed actuality conducted with goldfish. An undersea adventure.

ILLUSIONS FANTASMAGORIQUES Francia, 1898 Regia: Georges Méliès Prod.: Star Film (n. 155) 35 mm. L.: 23 m. D.: 1’ a 18 f/s. Imbibita / Tinted Da: Filmoteca Española (collezione Saraminaga). – AA: Fiction, a magician conjures people from his haunted chest.

L’HOMME DE TÊTES OU LES QUATRES TÊTES EMBARRASSANTES Francia, 1898 Regia: Georges Méliès Prod.: Star Film (n. 167) 35 mm. L.: 20 m. D.: 1’ a 16 f/s Da: BFI – National Archive. – AA: Fiction, a trick film with multiplying heads which finally form a musical chorus.

AA: The third of my three favourite shows at the Ritrovato was this show of Anno Tre, a marvellous piece of curatorship, with a strange feeling of exploration and discovery.

The art and craft of simple and basic observation. These films are about learning to see.

 In the surgical records there is a sense of something primal, something sacred.

The theatrical and camera-conscious act of the legendary surgeon, Dr. Doyen, is similar to the performance of Georges Méliès the magician.

The histrionics in the hypnotic trances resemble the gestures of early cinema actors.

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