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Directed by Georges Méliès

France 1902 90 mins.

One of the foremost early innovators of the motion picture in the fin-de-siècle Parisian milieu—alongside the Lumière Brothers, Alice Guy-Blaché, and the Pathé and Gaumont studios—Georges Méliès was truly a jack-of-all-trades: master illusionist, technical whiz, and accomplished storyteller. Having first been exposed to the moving image at the Lumière Brothers’ legendary 1895 private screening, Méliès quickly took to the medium and ran wild, developing his own studio by 1897 and producing dozens of films in subsequent years. He became a huge star, and by 1902 Méliès was producing longer works, including his most famous film, A Trip to the Moon. While he continued making work through the 1910s, by the early 1920s Méliès fell on hard times, no longer in public demand and pushed out of the industry by changing tastes and the dominance of Pathé and Gaumont. But for a long and exciting period, Méliès’ star burned extremely bright, his numerous cinematic innovations by-and-large still with us today. Screening in this program are several of the filmmaker’s best-known works alongside a few short curiosities that display his undeniable mastery of form and content.

 

Films screening in this program:

The Four Troublesome Heads, 1898, 1 min., silent, digital

The One-Man Band, 1900, 1 min., silent, digital

Joan of Arc, 1900, 10 mins., silent, digital

The Man with the Rubber Head, 1901, 3 mins., silent, digital

The Trip to the Moon, 1902, 13 mins., silent, digital

The Kingdom of the Faeries, 1903, 17 mins., silent, digital

The Impossible Voyage, 1904, 20 mins., silent, digital

The Scheming Gambler’s Paradise, 1905, 3 mins., silent, digital

An Adventurous Automobile Trip, 1905, 10 mins., silent, digital

The Eclipse, or the Courtship of the Sun and Moon, 1907, 9 mins., silent, digital

Appears in: Paris 1900