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Georges Melies: First Wizard of Cinema 1896-1913


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Frequently Bought Together

Georges Melies: First Wizard of Cinema 1896-1913 + Melies Encore + A Trip To The Moon & The Extraordinary Voyage Deluxe Combo Blu-Ray DVD Edition
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Editorial Reviews

This early wizard of modern filmmaking set a tempo for things to come. This collection celebrates 173 rare, original silent films by Georges Meliess, painstakingly gathered by Eric Lange and David Shepard, including his first film Partie de Cartes (1896) right on through to his last Voyage de la Famille Bourrichon (1913) on 5 DVDs. 1896-1913. (B&W/13 hrs/NR/fullscreen.)

Special Features

Le Grand Méliès (Georges Franju, 1953)- A half-hour introductory film featuring Méliès' widow (who performed in many Méliès films) and André Méliès portraying his father. 36 Page Booklet includes: HOMAGE TO GEORGES MÉLIÈS by Norman McLaren, NOTES ON THE WORK OF GEORGES MÉLIÈS by John Frazer, and ANNOTATED FILM INDEX.

Product Details

  • Actors: Georges Melies
  • Directors: Georges Melies
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Flicker Alley
  • DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 782 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013K8J90
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,582 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Georges Melies: First Wizard of Cinema 1896-1913" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 101 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 8, 2008
Format: DVD
Flicker Alley has been coming up with some interesting sets focusing on early cinema. This is their latest set, and it looks to rival Kino's DVD set on Edison on being a real contribution to the history of cinema on DVD. There is a cheaper set out there on Melies, but ultimately you get what you pay for when it comes to silent film. If you are interested in Melies I suggest you wait for this set. The following is the press release for this set:

This 5-disc DVD set, includes Méliès's first film, Partie de Cartes and his last, Voyage de la Famille Bourrichon, and brackets more than 170 others. Included are the celebrated and famous journey films, among them A Trip to the Moon, The Impossible Voyage, The Kingdom of Fairies, The Merry Frolics of Satan, The Palace of the Arabian Nights, and The Conquest of the Pole. Fifteen films are reproduced from partial or complete hand-colored original prints, thirteen are presented with the original English narrations written by Méliès. The duration of these films ranges from less than half a minute (The Misfortunes of an Explorer, 1900), to more than half an hour (Conquest of the North Pole, 1912). Also included is a filmed tribute, Le Grand Méliès (1953) by Georges Franju in its original English version, and a substantial booklet containing essays by filmmaker Norman McLaren and historian John Frazer.

This unparalleled collection, several years in the making and produced by Eric Lange and David Shepard, calls for a re-evaluation of the early years of cinema by scholars and historians, for it reveals Méliès to have been the most accomplished filmmaker in the world during that time.
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83 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Chip Kaufmann on March 12, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Of all the early film pioneers, I have always had a soft spot for Georges Melies. I love tricks and magic as they invite you to suspend disbelief and make you believe, if only temporarily, that anything is possible. After all that is what movies do especially silent movies and no one in the silent era did it better than Melies. The amazing thing about him is that he did it so early starting back in 1896! This 5 DVD set collects films from a 17 year period (1896-1913) and presents them under the best of conditions.

The bulk of these have never been on home video before and they are a revelation. In addition to the famous fantasy films (A TRIP TO THE MOON, THE IMPOSSIBLE VOYAGE) and trick films (THE LIVING PLAYING CARDS, THE UNTAMEABLE WHISKERS), there are serious films like those relating the story of the Dreyfus affair, a hand tinted version of the life of Joan Of Arc from 1900, and even a woman taking a bath standing up in AFTER THE BALL (nudity in 1897!). This set reportedly contains all 173 known surviviving films by Melies which were collected from archives all over the world. The films range from around 1 minute to Melies' magnum opus THE CONQUEST OF THE POLE (1912) which lasts for half an hour. I especially enjoy the later films with their Gustave Dore' like backgrounds and 19th century stage mechanics. The quality of the shorts is very good for the most part with the earliest ones being in the roughest shape. The musical accompaniment by various artists is uniformly fine and helps to bring these century old treasures to life.

If there is a problem with the set it's that Melies has a tendency to do many of the same things over and over again which doesn't bother me but will probably annoy many viewers.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By burritobrother VINE VOICE on April 24, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Five dvd's that contain every known surviving Melies film, and a book.
Sounds good, but what is revelatory is the visual quality of the films here. While a few exist only in fragments, and some films have, of course, rough quality, the vast bulk of this set is extraordinary. I wouldn't hesitate to say that noone alive right now has ever seen any of these films in better condition. Absolutely beautiful; it's obvious that putting this set together was an arduous labor of love, and a gift for film lovers everywhere. This set is expensive, but don't let that stop you if you like Melies. It's worth every cent, believe me.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Octave on November 29, 2011
Format: DVD
PREFATORY NOTE 1 MAR 2012: Thanks to the vigilance of a kind commentator, I now know that Flicker Alley has decided to _not_ reissue the box set with the MELIES ENCORE disc appended. This is too bad, though it seems that the 2nd edition will be a little different in terms of packaging. I'll leave my review untouched for the time being, but please ignore the following paragraph.

The other reviews do justice to the content, but I just recently noticed that the Flicker Alley website mentions an updated second edition, which will contain the material from the single disc MELIES ENCORE: Melies Encore
No mention of any other changes/additions, and there are no dates given by the website, though they say they're trying to get the set out in "3 to 4 weeks". It's probably worth waiting for the new edition, even just to see if the old edition can be had a steep discount.

I can only reiterate that the material in the original 5dvd box is marvelous and beautifully and lovingly presented (Jonathan Rosenbaum called it "one of the best box sets ever released" in his "Global Discoveries" column at Cinemascope). What do you get for being a towering and jolly, originary, visionary genius of the infant medium of cinema? You get driven out of business by moneygrubbing wolves, and reduced to selling toys at the train station. I can almost guarantee that a true omnivorous lover of cinematic art---maybe a young talent who toothed on the sublime play of filmmakers like Michel Gondry, then saw things like Stan Brakhage and Jack Smith with awe rather than irritation---would be TICKLED PINK by this as a gift.
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Topic From this Discussion
Does it include "Lightning Change Artist?"
I do not see anything by this title (or similar) listed in the contents for either the Flicker Alley set or the supplemental disk (Melies: Encore).

it's entirely possible (all too likely) that the film has not survived. Most of Melies' work is lost to us.
May 3, 2012 by Thelonious |  See all 2 posts
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Georges Melies: First Wizard of Cinema 1896-1913
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