THE ELECTRIC HOTEL (1908)
aka El Hotel electrico
Article 2667 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-8-2008
Posting Date: 12-1-2008
Directed by Segundo de Chomon
Featuring Segundo de Chomon, Julienne Mathieu
A pair of travelers visit a hotel with modern electrical conveniences.
I caught this movie on YouTube, and, quite frankly, it looks in wretched shape. Nevertheless, I saw enough so that I was quite impressed with the vast amount of stop-motion animation that must have gone into this one, as we see extensive footage of suitcases unpacking themselves, letters writing themselves, and boots being polished automatically by brushes. Granted, it all looks more like magic than science, but I’m reminded of a comment I once heard that if you encounter a culture whose science is well beyond your own, you might mistake what you see from them as magic. Still, despite the fact that I’m impressed, I’m also a little bored; some of the sequences go on too long, and you start to lose interest. Still, this is one early fantastically-themed short that doesn’t look like a lift from the work of Melies.