Apr 5, 2012

Georges Méliès: Favorite Films

As much as I adore Le Voyage Dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902), I tend to watch the shorter films of Georges Méliès more often. They are so playful, inventive and surreal. Here are a few of my favorites:

Le papillon fantastique (1909) 

I love the bright blue, yellow and orange hues chosen for this gorgeous color-tinted film. It features a beautiful butterfly and a spider with arms that look more like the wiggling appendages of an octopus:


L'homme a la Tête en Caoutchouc (1901) 

This film is a perfect demonstration of Méliès’ playful spirit. The oversized head shots provide a rare opportunity to see his amusing expressions in detail, as the close-up had not yet been invented:

Le Mélomane (1903) 

Here is a great example of the way Méliès often used his body, and particularly his head, to create surreal special effects:

Le Dirigeable Fantastique (1905)

Another beautifully-tinted color film:

I love the way Méliès literally brings this billboard to life:

There are so many more I’d like to share, and maybe I will in a future post.Though these clips can be found in many places online, I have found it much more satisfying to view them on DVD. As all of these movies were filmed from a distance with a single, stationary camera, the details are much easier to make out on a larger screen.

Here are a few of the releases I’ve enjoyed. I borrowed them from the library, but they all appear to be available for sale as well:

Georges Méliès encore: new discoveries (1896-1911), Flicker Alley 

Méliès the Magician, Facets (this one also includes an interesting Méliès documentary.) 

The Magic of Méliès, Kino Lorber 

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