Tuesday, November 01, 2011

An Hour of Pure Georges Méliès (and some Lobsters)

Georges Mélièsin parhaita Lobster Filmsin kokoelmasta / Det bästa av Georges Méliès från Lobster Films. Country: France, PC: Star Film, D: Georges Méliès, 35 mm, prints from: Lobster Films. Screened at 16-18 fps, total duration 57 min. The Lobster Films' Georges Méliès show screened in Il Cinema Ritrovato (Bologna) in 2009 revisited in Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 1 November 2011.

Le Cauchemar [Painajainen]. 1896. - Passable b&w print - man asleep in bed, in his nightmare, transforms into a woman, etc. - a moon nightmare - 1'33"

Un homme de tête [Monipäinen mies]. 1898. - Passable b&w print - he severs his head repeatedly, and the severed heads give a concert - 1'11"

L'Illusionniste double et la tête vivante [Silmänkääntäjä kahtena ja elävä pää]. 1900. - Passable b&w print - the magician doubles himself and meets a magical vanishing lady who comes alive from a paper head - in fact, the magician is tripled - 1'25"

Le Livre magique [Noiduttu kirja]. 1900. - B&w print from damaged source - the figures in a giant book come alive: Pierrot, Arlecchino, Pulcinella, Colombina, Cassandra - there is a fight over the ladies - also here, there is a final meta-dimension - 3 min

Nouvelles luttes extravagantes [Uusia eriskummallisia taisteluja]. 1900. - Passable b&w print - buxom ladies wrestle in tights, transformations, sex changes, disjecta membra, flattening as in animation - 3 min

Le Rêve du radjah [Rajahin uni]. 1900. - Passable b&w print - The rajah's dream: changes in space, apparitions, buxom dancing ladies, transformations, it turns out it has all been fight with the pillow - 2'20"

Le Réveil d'un monsieur pressé [Kiireisen herran herätys]. 1900. - The man wakes up, tries to dress, but his clothes undergo relentless transformations, exhausted, he returns to bed - 2 min

Le Sorcier, le prince et le bon génie [Noita, prinssi ja hyvä haltija]. 1900. - Passable b&w print - two men and a woman - magic dresses, apparitions, disappearances, constant transformations, the theme of frustrating action - 2'08"

Le Tonneau des danaïdes [Danaidien tynnyri]. 1900. - B&w print - 8 woman and 1 man - the magic barrel can contain an endless number of women - but finally it's empty - 1'11"

Le Chapeau à surprise [Yllätyshattu]. 1901. - B&w print - a magician's miraculous table and trunk - a giant top hat - the magician conjures even his dinner guests from his trunk - even the painting on the wall comes alive - but everything disappears, as well - 2'33"

Excelsior! 1901. - Passable b&w print - the magician conjures a handkerchief from his assistant's mouth, and a bowl from the handkerchief - the magician uses his assistant as a water pump - he even gets fish to the bowl from his assistant's mouth - fire to the torch - the bowl turns into a shrimp (NOT a Lobster!) and into a beautiful woman dressed as a clown - 2'04"

Nain et géant [Kääpiö ja jättiläinen]. 1901. - Passable b&w print - GM doubles himself - one grows into a giant - in comparison, the other is a midget - 0'51"

La Danseuse microscopique [Mikroskooppinen tanssijatar]. 1902. - Passable b&w print - the bearded magician conjures eggs from his assistant's mouth - breaks the eggs into his top hat - a big egg grows even bigger - a dancing mini woman grows into life size - changes of form and place - 2'50"

L'Equilibre impossible [Mahdotonta tasapainottelua]. 1902. - Starting with images of classical antiquity - the acrobat GM multiplies into four identical copies, three of them performing acrobatics on his head and arms (the trick of filming from a high angle, from the ceiling, motions on the floor) - 1'11"

Les Trésors de Satan [Saatanan aarteet]. 1902. - Print has low contrast in the beginning - in the Satan's tresure cave - female assistants give the Devil a hard time - diabolic dance with a miser - the moneybags have a life of their own - 2'39"

L'Auberge du Bon Repos [Hyvän levon majatalo]. 1903. - Passable b&w print - the slightly intoxicated traveller tries to go to sleep - but the portrait on the wall comes alive - his boots start to walk on the walls - the bed rocks like a boat on waves - strange faces on the walls haunt him - the Devil jumps in from the window - 5'30"

Le Monstre [Hirviö]. 1903. - In Egypt, the sphinx, the pyramid - a living skeleton from the tomb becomes a ghost - who turns into a living woman, a temple beauty - and back to skeleton again - 2'31"

L'Oracle de Delphe [Delfoin oraakkeli]. 1903. - In Egypt, in Delphi, the sphinxes come alive - a thief's head turns into that of a donkey - 1'40"

Le Chaudron infernal [Hiidenpata]. 1903. - Colour print - Belphegor puts a woman into his devil's cauldron - the vapours of the cauldron turn into ghosts - everybody lands into the cauldron - 1'39"

La Fée carabosse [Noita-akka]. 1906. - Colour print - a princess appears from a mirror - money turns into sand - the witch's revenge, magic dagger, magic smoke - chase by a magic broom at full moon - the shamrock: the ghosts disappear - a giant frog, an immense owl, a dragon, two snakes - a magic whisk, a magic sword - the prince met the princess - the flight in the sky - refuge by the sea - 9'58"

The Méliès films are an expression of modernity: the constant transformations and interrupted actions are a vision of modern life. There is unity in these series of non stop miracles: a sense of humour, a joy of life, and the presence of Georges Méliès and Jehanne Méliès, themselves.

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