The Apparition (1903)

Article 2034 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-9-2006
Posting Date: 3-8-2007
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Georges Melies

An old man tries to read, but his candle proves uncooperative. Then he tries to rid the room of ghosts.

Georges Melies made over five hundred short movies during the first 20 years of cinema, and most of them probably have fantastic content. Yet I’ve only covered a handful of them so far, largely due to the fact that my sources for movie titles to this point largely neglect the silent era. That changes with the inclusion of Don Willis’ first volume of “Horror and Science Fiction Films”, which made a real attempt to be complete. Though my hunt list will now be quickly filled with obscure and unfindable early silents, it will also give me a chance to delve more extensively into some of the extant films from the oeuvre of Melies.

The story here is basically comic, with the old man trying to keep a mobile candle in one place long enough to read his paper. With the ghosts, he attempts to do battle with them and ends up wrecking his own room. Beyond that, there’s very little in the way of a story here, but you can enjoy some of these early experiments with double exposure and trick editing.



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