THE MYSTERIOUS RETORT (1906)
aka ALCHIMISTE PARAFARAGAMUS OU LO CORNUE INFERNALE
Article 2089 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-4-2006
Posting Date: 5-2-2007
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Georges Melies
An alchemist is tormented by a succession of creatures that emerge from a glass vial.
I’m not sure where the retort comes into play in this Melies fantasy, but I suppose it’s mysterious enough. The bizarre snake that emerges first steals the show here, as it grows and shrinks in size before transforming into a tumbling imp. There may be a plot here, but it’s not much of one. Overall, it’s fun enough, but it’s fairly minor Melies.
PS: I’ve been informed that the glass vial is called a retort. That explains the title. You learn something new every day.