Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – Wonderful Absinthe [La bonne absinthe] (1899)

Is this a film with a main character who drinks absinthe? Or a representation of Alice Guy-Blaché’s mind after she took a trip with the green fairy? It appears to be the former, though I would love to see the latter.


Alice Guy, 1st Female Filmmaker – At the Club [Au cabaret] (1899)

A slightly different look at a familiar narrative in early French cinema. The original was Louis Lumière’s Card Game (Partie de Cartes), and the 1st remake was Georges Méliès’s Card Party (Une Partie de Cartes).

March Melies Madness! – The Mysterious Knight [Le chevalier mystère] (1899)

The conjurer (Méliès) appears at a blackboard and shows the head of a knight on it. He seizes the picture of the head, removes it from the blackboard, and it turns alive, bowing and smiling apparently without a body attached. The conjurer then seizes a sword and runs it completely through the head, entering at the neck and going right through the top of the skull. He then takes the head and places it upon a camera, which is mounted upon a tripod; then throwing a cloak around the legs of the tripod, the young lady to whom the head belongs appears instantly the cloak is removed, with head properly attached to her body. The conjurer then runs toward a door which stands in the middle of the wall, and making a jump in the air, vanishes into space.

March Melies Madness! – Cinderella [Cendrillon] (1899)

This oldest known film adaptation of Charles Perrault’s 1697 fairy tale, Cendrillon, is also the first movie to utilize a dissolve transition between scenes. Méliès accomplished this by closing the lens aperture, rewinding the film, and then re-opening the aperture.

Music performed by Billy Duncan for Change Before Going Productions.

March Melies Madness! – The Dreyfus Affair [L’Affaire Dreyfus] (1899)

The Dreyfus Affair (aka L’Affaire Dreyfus) is a multi-film narrative by Georges Méliès regarding the controversial political scandal surrounding Captain Alfred Dreyfus, convicted of Treason in 1894 France. After Emile Zola published his infamous letter, J’Accuse, which accused the government of anti-Semitism and unlawful jailing, Dreyfus was eventually re-tried. In 1906, he was exonerated and reinstated as a major in the French Army. This film, produced in the midst of the scandal, would become the 1st censored movie as it was banned in France.

March Melies Madness! – The Mysterious Portrait [Le portrait mystérieux] (1899)

A man (Méliès) interacts with a portrait of himself.

March Melies Madness! – The Pillar of Fire [La colonne de feu] (1899)

The Pillar of Fire (aka La colonne de feu) is loosely based upon H. Rider Haggard’s 1887 novel, She. In beautiful, hand-colored tint, the devil (Georges Méliès) appears and summons a dancing lady.

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