THE PALACE OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS (1905)
Article #387 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 4-6-2002
Posting date: 8-30-2002
A sultan tries to win the hand of the woman he loves by hunting for a treasure in a haunted palace.
Another Melies piece that packs a movie’s worth of events into fifteen minutes (shorter if you’re watching it at the wrong projection speed). It features a really big pair of scissors, lots of tumbling mimes in animal outfits, a short fat guy, dancing skeletons, ballerinas and a scary puppet version of Cecil the seasick sea serpent. There’s also an incredible sequence where our heros pass through a forest which consists of layer after layer of foliage that is stripped away until we reach the stairs of the palace, and it looks like it was all done in one smooth shot. Pretty impressive.