March Melies Madness! – How He Missed His Train [Le réveil d’un monsieur pressé] (1900)

A variation on a familiar Méliès theme, but reversed. In How He Missed His Train (aka Le réveil d’un monsieur pressé), the character’s difficulty lies not in preparing for bed, but rather in readying himself to exit his sleeping quarters.


March Melies Madness! – The Doctor and the Monkey [Le savant et le Chimpanze] (1900)

Méliès monkeys around in Le savant et le Chimpanze (aka The Doctor and the Monkey), an atypical film for Melies that includes an interesting split-level set which allows for viewing two floors at the same time.

March Melies Madness! – Eight Girls in a Barrel [Le tonneau des danaïdes] (1900)

In Eight Girls in a Barrel (aka Le tonneau des danaïdes, aka The Dainaid’s Barrel) Georges Méliès has fun with 8 women. And a barrel. The original French title references a Greek myth where forty-nine of the fifty daughters of King Danaus (i.e. the Danaids) were sentenced to fill bottomless barrels with water for all eternity as a punishment.

March Melies Madness! – Going to Bed Under Difficulties [Le déshabillage impossible] (1900)

Familiar territory for Méliès, but executed to perfection. We again see our protagonist “Going to Bed Under Difficulties”, as indicated by the title, though this film also introduces us to a new Méliès trick: The Infinite Clothing. In fact, the original French title, Le déshabillage impossible, literally translates to “Impossible Undressing”.

Music performed by Billy Duncan for Change Before Going Productions.

March Melies Madness! – A Fantastical Meal [Le repas fantastique] (1900)

Méliès shows us that going to bed isn’t the only mundane act for which he can conjure surprises and difficulties.

March Melies Madness! – The Fat and Lean Wrestling Match [Nouvelles luttes extravagantes] (1900)

In The Fat and Lean Wrestling Match (aka Nouvelles luttes extravagantes aka New and Extravagant Bouts), Méliès magically creates the most comically brutal wrestling match of all time.

March Melies Madness! – The Triple Conjurer and the Living Head [L’illusioniste double et la tête vivante] (1900)

Méliès splits into 2 versions of himself, after which point the doppelganger interacts with the original (or is it vice versa?). A living, bodiless-head is produced and then turned into a full-bodied woman. Finally, the devil appears and ultimately reveals himself to be a 3rd Melies!

March Melies Madness! – Up-to-Date Spiritualism [Spiritisme abracadabrant] (1900)

Standard stop-cut replacement magic from Méliès, with the addition of a new trick: levitation (in the form of his hat).

March Melies Madness! – The Magic Book [Le livre magique] (1900)

Méliès magically brings characters to life, literally, from the pages of a giant illustrated tome.

March Melies Madness! – The Wizard, the Prince and the Good Fairy [Le sorcier, le prince et le bon génie] (1900)

The Wizard, the Prince and the Good Fairy (aka Le sorcier, le prince et le bon génie) contains the standard bag of tricks, such as stop-cut replacement editing, utilized during the time period by Méliès. Unique in this film is the framing of the slightly angled shot for the set, which allows for a larger-than-normal area of action.

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