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Festival Year Festival Section
2006 Magic in Film - Prog. 1

Alternative Title 1
Alternative Title 2
Alternative Title 3
Country France
Release Date 1903
Production Co. Star-Film
Director Georges Méliès

Format   Speed (fps)
35mm   16
Footage   Time
145 ft.   2'25"

Archive Source Library of Congress
Print Notes Copia preservata da un positivo 35mm in bianco e nero su carta / Preserved from a 35mm black & white paper positive.
Senza didascalie / No intertitles

Georges Méliès
Other Credits
Other Information
Program Notes
Throughout his career as a magician, Méliès was a polemical opponent of Spiritism who deployed techniques of theatrical illusionism and trick photography to create mock spirit manifestations on stage and screen. Here, spirit photography – widely discredited by the 1875 Buguet trial in Paris – figures as the pretext for Méliès to show off a new cinematic trick: “an absolute novelty, for the effects obtained are made by a process only recently discovered. For the first time, one sees a dissolving effect upon a background absolutely white” (Complete Catalogue of Genuine and Original “Star” Films, 1905, p.25). Such so-called “anti-Spiritist tricks,” which appropriated the spectacular form of purported spirit phenomena while mocking their fraudulence, were a popular attraction in the French fairground shows that often screened Méliès’s films.