Marie-Georges-Jean Mèlies

(Paris 8 December 1861 – 21 January 1938)



His family had a small manufacturing enterprise of shoes.

As a magician and illusionist directed the theatre Robert Houdin in Paris, where they had staged magic shows, interspersed sometimes by magic lantern projections and even Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope. Present at the first performance of 28 December 1895, was impressed by the invention of the Lumière brothers. Sensing the potential of the new medium in the entertainment and construction of sleight of hand, tried to get sell an appliance, but the refusal of the inventors he built a copy from his engineer. His first film mimicked those of Lumiere, but soon found its own style, moving in film the tricks of his trade, filming representations of entertainment shows. In the filmEscamotage d'une dame chez Robert-Houdini, you see for the first time a trick only possible with the camera, that is a woman who hid under a tarp goes unreported by stopping the shooting, causing her to go and resume to filming as if there had been no interval: this is the oldest example of montage in film. In 1897 outfitted a studio in Montreuil, an early film studios

(Movie Star). It was a huge area (17 m x 66) which United the merits of a photo studio (light natural lighting thanks to rooftop in serra) to those as large as a theatrical stage. The actors (often the same Mèlies recited in front of specially painted scenes, according to tradition, magic performances and musical theatre. He directed more than 500 films between 1896 and 1914, lasting between one and forty minutes, and of which we have received just over two hundred, some fragmentary. Regarding the subject, his films were often similar to magic shows that Méliès usa holding, with tricks and impossible events as objects disappearing or change size. His best known film is a trip to the Moon(Le Voyage dans La Lune), 1902. This and other sound film call directly or indirectly the work of Jules Verne and are considered the first science fiction movie. The film was the first blockbuster world and also one of the first cases of piracy: agents of Thomas Edison bribed a theater owner in London for a copy of a trip to the Moon, from which Edison was printing hundreds of copies for projecting them in New York City, without paying anything to Mèlies. In his film Le manoir du diable you can trace the origins of horror movies. Between 1900 and 1912 Méliès's success was overwhelming, profoundly influencing the operators already active (Thomas Edison and Lumière) and giving a fundamental contribution to the genesis of cinematographic language essential to the genesis of language future film for authors. Already after the 1909 production underwent a decline, because the public has become more demanding in terms of narrative and coherence. In 1913 the company cinematography Movies by Méliès, went bankrupt because of trade policies: Méliès was selling copies of his film, but he felt no copyright for individual projections; so, paradoxically, while his film spopolavano in Europe and America, was forced to commit itself financially to continuously create new films, but began to be repetitive, staid, ridiculous, losing the interest of the market. He made several films for the Pathé, but with the coming of the great war, was finally ousted from filmmaking. Méliès later tornp to devote himself only to magic shows with reruns of his films at the Robert-Houdin, until the theatre was demolished to open the Boulervard Haussmann. In 1925 was one of the main actresses, Jeanne d'alcy, who had a kiosk of sweets and toys at the station in Paris – Montparnasse. The two married and were together of the kiosk. It was here that the journalist Lèon Druhot, Director of Cinè – Journal, met him, releasing it to oblivion. His work was rediscovered by the surrealists who organized a retrospective, the first film retrospective of history. In 1931 he received the Légion d'honneur from the hands of Louis Lumière. In 1932, through the good offices of a Union film, received a pension and retired to a case of rest for artists in the Castle Park of Orly. It is said that he discovered accidentally, Méliès, mounting while filming outdoors, at Place de l ' Opéra in Paris: at one point the camera would accidentally jammed and shortly thereafter divided: in the development stage then Méliès younoticed with astonishment that, got to the point where was filming a carriage, this suddenly disappeared to make way for a hearse. As far as true or false, the anecdote sums up well what would have been there by little sense of editing. In those years, numerous other film tricks were typically tested, who went to support the theatrical tricks. The whole thing was mixed with numbers of varieties, jokes and theatrical attractions (sliding stage machinery, models, pyrotechnics, etc.). Méliès made extensive use of these techniques to create what he called "fantasmagorie". For him the montage was synonymous with metamorphosis, an apotheosis of art of wonder. The realism of photography in motion gave great credibility to tricks shown, so the success was immediate and enormous. In the films of Méliès laws of nature seem to cancel each other out, into a fantasy world unreal, where freedom was total and endless possibilities. You can tell it was born one of those "virtual worlds" where it was possible, the first from those now common today. Méliès films not recounted stories in the sense in which are designed in modern cinema: sure there was almost always a plot, but the main purpose in these films was to attract attention by showing magic tricks perhaps assembling more episodes. When Méliès had acquired full expressive capacity in the use of special effects in numerous short films, began planning stories composed of multiple shots. They were still fixed and included an inside episode, detached and independently from the others. This way of telling a story has been told in narrative paintings or stations. The shots are called autarkic, because you run out of itself and each painting animated, was strung together to the next, each new shot gave then a different episode, with thunderstorms possible disconnect between the one and the other. There was still a fitting as we know it today, but the viewer's point of view was always the same, as in theater and out points was only used to create special effects. Studies of Montreuil were equipped to provide hand-colored films. It was a difficult and painstaking process, often created by women, with a large magnifying glass, coloured frames one by one with some colors that maintain the effect of transparency. Inevitable are some burrs and approximation a bit forced chosen colors which created the effect of stain color, rather than d colourful images. A fantastic cinema Méliès is linked, so that realistic but the two Lumière features are not so clear-cut. Méliès was the first to show with the images the fantastic worlds already told in literature, leveraging the credibility of photography in motion to give credibility to the representation.




Card game Star film, 1896, remake of a map, light, e una realistic ripresa dei partita, priva di trucchi.


One terrible night (Star film 26 1896) Méliès interpret a one in una stanza da letto che non riesce a dormire perched tormenta da a ragno gigante; He film presenta trucchi di tipo teatrale, non ancora filmmaking.


Retraction of a lady at Robert - Houdin ,1896


The nightmare (Star Film 82, 1896)


The Manor of the devil (1896)


The haunted Castle, (1897)


Torunavos decision-making


Between Calais and Dover


Hostel ensorcelee


After prom


Visit sub - marine of Maine (Star Film 147-1898)


Panorama taken from a train running


The magician (Star film 153, 1898)


Spooky illusions (Star Film 155, 1898)


Guillame Tell and the clown


The Moon in a meter


A man of Heads


The temptation of saint Anthony


The end-of-century illusionist


The diabel at the convent


The fire dance


The mysterious portrait


The Dreyfus affair


The dictation of the slip


The daughter of the devil


Updated the irons of Dreyfus


Colonel Henry suicide


Landing has Quiberon


Maintenance of Dreyfus and his wife in Rennes


Fight between journalists


The war Council meeting in Rennes in 1899


Cleopatra (1899)


Man Proteus


Tom Wisky we the illusionist toque (1900)


The Begeance of the gate - sauce (Star film 243/1900)


Misfortunes of an Explorer (1900)


The one-man band (Star Film 262-263-1900)


Joan of Arc (Star Film 264-275)


The dream of India or the Forey enchatee (Movie star)


The Crocier, the prince and the good genius (Star Film, 285-286, 1900)


The magic book (Star Film 289-291-1900)


Funky spiritualism, (Star Film 293, 1900)


The double llusionniste and the living head (Star Film 294, 1900)


Dream Christmas (Star Film 298/305,1900)


New struggles extravagates (Star Film 309-310)


The fantastic meal (Star Film 311-1900)


Deshanbillage impossibile (Star Film 3112 - 313,1900)


The cask of Danaides (Movie star)


The scientist and the chimpaze (Star Film, 1900)


The awakening of a Mr Press (Star Film 1900)


La Maison Tranquille ( Star Film 325 – 326 – 1901)


Dislocation Mysterieuse (Star Film 355 – 336 )


L’Antre de espirits (Star Film, 345)


Chez la sorciere (Star Film 350 – 351 , 1901)


Exelsior ! (Star Film, 1907)


Barbe – Blue (Star Film, 1901)


Le Chapeau à surprise (1901)


L’homme à la tète en caoutchouc (Star film, 1901)


Le Diable geant ou Le Miracle de La Madone (Star Film)


Nain et geant (Star Film, 1901)


Viaggio nella Luna (Star Film 1902)


Le Mèlomane (1903)


Le Chaudron Infernal (1903)


Le Cake – walk infernal (1903)


La Flamme Merveilleuse (1903)


Le Rayaume des fèes (1903)


Le Monstre (1903)


The Inn of the good rest (1903)


The magic lantern (1903)


The dream of the ballet master (1903)


The Dannation of Faust (1903)


The Chinese miracle worker (1904)


The Turkish Borreau (1904)


The King of the makeup (1904)


Viaggio attraverso the impossibile (Journey through the impossible) Star Film, 1904


The Cascade of fire (Star Film, 1904)


Live cards (Star Film, 1905)


The black devil (Star Film, 1905)


The Phoenix or the Crystal Cabinet (Star Film, 1905)


The Lilliputian minuet (Star Film, 1905)


The Palace of the Arabian Nights (Star Film, 1905)


The Compoisteur toque (Star Film, 1905)


The Chair has carrier enchatee (Star Film, 1905)


The Raid Paris - Montecarlo in 2 hours (Star Film, 1905)


Improvise a fe of fireworks (Star Film, 1905)


The legend of Rip van Winckle (Star Film, 1905)


The posters on a binge (1905)


The clandestine gambling den (Star Film, 1905)


A fall in the 5th floor (Star film, 1906)


Anarchy - in Horn (Star Film, 1906)


The Hotel of business travelers (Star Film, 1906)


The living soap bubbles (Star Film, 1906)


The 400 fareces of the devil (Star Film, 1906)


Hamlet (1907)


The shower of boiling water (Star Film, 1907)


Cheese cars (Star Film, 1907)


The Tunnel under the English channel or the Anglo-French cahuchemar (Star film, 1907)


Eclipse of the Sun in full moon (Star Film, 1907)


Poor John or the adventures of a whisky beveur (Star film, 1907)


Universal glue (Star Film, 1907)


Ali Barbouyou and Ali Bouf oil (Star Film, 1907)


Ventimila leghe sotto i husband, 1907


Fantastic tambourine, Star Film, 1908


The kitchen of the ogre (Star Film, 1908)


The human Torches (Star Film, 1908)


The genius of fire (Star Film, 1908)


Why that actor was late (Star Film, 1908)


The dream of a of opium, (Star Film, 1908)


Hair salon, (Star Film, 1908)


The new signerur of the village (Star Film, 1908)


The miser, (Star Film, 1908)


The Council of the Pipelet or a trip to the fair (Star Film, 1908)


Lully or violin breeze (Star Film, 1908)


The skaters (1908)


Love and molasses (Star Film, 1908)


The misadventures of a photographer (Star Film, 1908)


The Fakir from Singapore, (Star Film, 1908)


A Tricky painter's Fate (Star Film, 1908)


French interpreter policeman (Star Film, 1908)


Anaic we scar (Star Film, 1908)


For the star (Star Film, 1908)


Tale of the grand - mother and the kid's dream (Star Film, 1908)


The good Shepherd and the bad Princess (Movie star)


The devilish tenant (Star Film, 1909)


The Secret of the doctor, (Star Film, 1910)