TUNNELING THE CHANNEL (1907)
(a.k.a. TUNNEL SOUS LA MANCHE OU LE CAUCHEMAR FRANCO-ANGLAIS)
Article #1424 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-6-2005
Posting Date: 7-6-2005
Directed by Georges Melies
French and English kings have a dream that they build an underwater tunnel between the two countries across the English channel.
It’s been a long time since I’ve covered one of Melies’ silent shorts, so it’s nice to do another one. This one is quite amusing, though you do have to wonder about the intelligence of the tunnel architects who only build one set of train tracks, failing to realize that you’ll have traffic going both ways at the same time. My favorite moment is the opening of the dream, in which England and France are represented as two giants with a body of water between them, and in order to shake hands, they must stretch their arms to the proper length; this sequence looks like a political cartoon come to life.