Entertainment + Leisure | 1900 | Silent | B/W
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The films of Georges Melies. All the films are in the fixed camera position against a painted backdrop. All the tricks are stop motion.
"Scientist" - Melies working in his laboratory, he pours liquids form a bottle, double doors behind him, he gets out a table and places a pipe on top and Melies' own head, with bellows to the right side, he blows up his head increasing and decreasing it in size as it chatters away, an assistant arrives, he uses the bellows but goes too far and the head explodes both men thrown to the floor.
"Conjuror" - A man with a dancing girl, in a knee length flimsy dress, standing on a table, she descends and dances and sits on a chair, he covers her with a cloth she disappears, he emerges from a large tube, they variously swap positions.
"Baron Munchausen's dream " Baron Munchhausen goes to bed after becoming drunk. His dreams or rather, nightmares, take place in a huge mirror behind his bed, involving him in the action. At the end he breaks the mirror and falls through.
'The Baron dines and wines well'.
Baron and four guests dining at French 17th century banquet. Vivid conversations. The guests leave. The servants lead the Baron away (who doesn't want to) he is heavily drunk. In the elaborate bedroom with a huge mirror behind the bed. He is laid down and undressed.
'Dreams and Nightmares'.
Baron sits up. The mirror comes to life: A violin player and two dancing couples. Baron kisses the hand of one of the ladies, who is with a guard in an emperor's room. Baron excuses himself and is thrown back into his bed. In the mirror, three Roman ladies, motionless who then turn into human dinosaurs, climbing in the Baron's bed, back into the screen and become guards, poking the Baron with their spears, he rolls to the floor. In the mirror again. The Baron climbs into his bed, complaining (play with a fake reflection of the Baron). The mirror turns into a winter landscape with a small church, the Baron is half awake. A strange winged devil or dragon crawls over the bed. A clown jumps around. The dragon again, the clown again, who rolls the Baron out of the bed. The bed moves away. In the mirror is five living statues. The Baron admires the beautiful female statue on top, jumps around, bows. The statues bow. Two of them become spouts of a fountain. The Baron walks around. The background changes; winter again. It snows. The baron feels cold. The statue of the sun in the background. The baron bows. The statue vanishes into a well in the ground. An explosion and a hell scene. Devils dance around the Baron. He wants them to go away. A dragon appears. Dancing. The Baron is despairing. An explosion. The dragon, spitting fire. The dragon disappears, the devils throw the Baron to the ground, poke him with their spears. Others bring the bed, throw him in, continue attacking him. The baron in the bed, the dragon dancing in the background, attacking the Baron. In the mirror. A spider woman (with octopus arms) perhaps Kali, attacking the Baron. Soldiers on a castle wall, shooting at him. The moon with a grim goblin's face appears behind moving clouds. He moves his head, his eyes, his tongue. A trunk comes out of his nose, he becomes an elephant with glasses, sprinkling water out of the trunk on the Baron. The Baron takes his bedside table and breaks the mirror, falling through it. Outside. The table falls into the garden, the Baron falls down, his clothes catch at the garden fence, he hangs there. Shouts. The servants run to him and help him.
'The result of his awakening.'
The Baron in front of a smaller mirror. His whole body aches. The servants laugh.
- FIN -
"Conjuror 2" almost the same scenario as the first conjuror but with small variations.
"Musician" Melies is a composer of music, a band of ladies sits on the right as he composes music on the wall behind him, first he creates the lines, and then he puts up the notes with chattering copies of his own head, the ladies then line up in front with cards reading notes and they all parade away as a marching band with instruments and drum.
"Underwater" A family look out their carriage window of a train and see passing corals and sea bottom plants and fishes, we also see a submarine pass by.
"Balloon Flight" Boy, about 12, asleep in his wooden bed, awakes to find a hot air balloon moored he climbs in. Up in the sir, he floats abobve the town, and uses a telescope to look at the ground below, in a hrbour and street. The balloon is caught in a thunderstorm and lightening, the balloon is struck and he falls into the sea. As he swims down jellyfish go with him. At the bottom sea dancing girls greet him. He then is attacked by an octopus he wakes in bed with a pillow fight, feather flying everywhere, but it was just a dream.
"Jupiter's Thunderbolts" 1903 Jupiter arrives on a beautiful open sky on a throne surrounded by two nymphs, he descnds and is joined by Mercury who runs around. They go to a palace in the air, the thunderbolt are too hot even for him of Hephaestus or Vulcan, the other classical goddesses or muses appear on as statutes then comes alive and dance, then turn into flames, Hephaestus on his anvil forms some more.
"The Mermaid" 1904
Man in top hat arrives and fills his faish tank with water. He then uses his top hat to fish from with a line and rod, the fish he catches go into the tank and he turns into a fisherman. The tank expands and looks more like the sea with corral and seaweed and a mermaid appears, she combs her hair, is entroned and maidens surround her.
"Magic lantern" 19004
Mr Punch dances a wild dance in the toy box, Pierrot arrives and they build a magic lantern. The lantern pictures on the wall show couples kissing, arguing, then pierrot and punch, they open the box and dancing dolls come out, then Harlequin and his girl, then ballerinas, Punch and Pierrot fight over an acrobatic dancer, soldiers brandishing swords arrive, the dancer dance around the box.
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