The Magic of Melies

Directed by Georges Méliès

Release Year: 1904
Running Time: 103
Color Type: Color and B&W
Country: France
Language: English intertitles [audio]
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Screening Info
Crew
Composed by Alexander Rannie
Directed by Georges Méliès


Also available in The Movies Begin (DVD Box Set)

The MAGIC of MÉLIÈS

Fifteen Fantastic Works by the Cinema’s First Special Effects Wizard including the documentary Georges Méliès: Cinema Magician

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 Méliès.

Such films as THE ECLIPSE (1907) and LONG DISTANCE WIRELESS PHOTOGRAPHY (1908) not only demonstrate Méliès’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 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 Méliès himself.

GEORGES MÉLIÈS: CINEMA MAGICIAN is a documentary on the filmmaker’s life, integrating rare photographs, early drawings and numerous clips. It charts Méliès’ rise from shoe factory worker to proprietor of Paris’s mystical Théatre Robert-Houdin, 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).

France 1904-1908
B&W/Color 103 Min.
Music Composed and Performed
by Alexander Rannie
Directed by Georges Méliès

  • The Untamable Whiskers (1904)
  • The Cook in Trouble (1904)
  • Tchin-Chao, the Chinese Conjurer (1904)
  • The Wonderful Living Fan (1904)
  • The Mermaid (1904)
  • The Living Playing Cards (1905)
  • The Black Imp (1905)
  • The Enchanted Sedan Chair (1905)
  • The Scheming Gamblers Paradise (1905)
  • The Hilarious Posters (1906)
  • The Mysterious Retort (1906)
  • The Eclipse (1907)
  • Good Glue Sticks (1907)
  • Long Distance Wireless Photography (1908)
  • The Impossible Voyage (1904)

Georges Méliès: Cinema Magician
U.S. 1978 20 Min. Color/B&W
A Film by Patrick Montgomery
and Luciano Martinengo
© 1978 Blackhawk Films, Inc.

Film Notes by Charles Musser
Produced for Video
by David Shepard
Film Preservation Associates
Dedicated to Dan Woodruff

* Note: despite the boxcover art, this title does NOT contain A Trip to the Moon. That title is available on The Great Train Robbery and Other Primary Works -- also in The Movies Begin series.