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The 3 star rating applies to this set as opposed to the earlier one on Melies and to let people know that the visual quality of these films is not up to the standards of the previous offering. This is not really Flicker Alley's fault considering the source material they had to work with but someone not familiar with silent films or the restoration process is bound to be disappointed with the results.
There are some gems here like THE ALCHEMIST'S HALLUCINATION and ROBERT MACAIRE & BERTRAND and it's nice to see the Segundo de Chomon ripoffs which are rare. The musical accompaniment is varied and appropriate, but if you want to see Melies at his best then go with Flicker Alley's first set which remains definitive or with Kino's THE MAGIC OF MELIES which was my original DVD introduction. This set should be used for supplementary purposes only.
Understandably, this is not the event from two years ago, but it is an essential, released addition in the appreciation of Méliès' unique art. Contemporary viewers with preconceived notions of the term "film" may be thrown off by the aesthetic mindset from a turn of the century experimental filmmaker. Get over it and don't look for narrative in the post-Edwin S. Porter sense of the word. There is much to savor here when transported into Méliès' very different world.
First, there are two films here that were at one time mistakenly attributed to Méliès, but were in fact directed by the Spanish filmmaker Segundo de Chomon in the Méliès style (he was often compared to Méliès). Chomon, who worked for the smae company as Méliès (Pathe), specialized in color tinting and "The Rose Magician" (1906), with its washy blues, yellows, streams of flowers and painted backdrops, including a giant seashell, exudes a heady, exotic nouveau flavor. "Excursion to the Moon" (1908) is clearly a homage to Méliès' famous "A Trip to the Moon" (1902). Sublime golds, oranges, pinks, greens and blues permeate "Excursion". Chomon beautifully utilizes snowy imagery, sleep, mushrooms, space rockets, explosions and a snow covered face in the moon, which has to be seen to be believed.Read more ›
Melies was a magician who owned his own theatre in Paris. He attended the first public film show featuring ducumentary "realities" made by the Lumier Company. They excited Melies because he realised that with this new invention, the cinema, he could record his own magic acts and even do things on film that could not be done on stage. Melies established the first actual movie studio. He made over five hundred short films from Lumier-like "views" to elaborate fantasies. Examples of all these types of shorts are included on this disc.
This collection,Georges Melies Encore, is produced from the best available materials and then made even better with appropriate new music. Some of the shorts were hand colored or stencil colored and some even include the original narrations that were intended to be spoken aloud during the original showings of these films. Also included here are some shorts by Melies' competitors and imitators, Pathe'.
One of the Pathe' shorts is a rarity among rarities: Excursion to the Moon. In the days before copyright enforcement, Pathe remade Melies' most popular film; A Trip to the Moon, almost scene for scene.
Unfortunately the Melies original is not included here but is available on the Mega compilaton of Melies' shorts put out by this great video company; Flicker Alley. That collection, Georges Melies First Wizard of Cinema, is expensive but worth every cent. Go buy it too so Flicker Alley will keep presenting more treasure troves of early film like those of Melies.
Now I hope they put together a collection of Pathe' and other studios shorts, especially the fantasies and "trick Films"
The finest examples of the "Mysterious" or what is known today as "trick film" genre from the traveling showman to nickel theatre eras.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dreams are everything, and dreams filmed are everything to the second power.Published 19 months ago by J. Nunn
Melies is the best. That's all there is to say. I could watch these all day and night. I hope they find more of his films and they put out more sets. Read morePublished on November 1, 2013 by federationofideas
The last box set was a shock.
This disk make us feel that Melies's dream is not over still more.