Onesime horloger (1912)

aka Simple Simon, Clock Maker
Article 2705 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-29-2008
Posting Date: 1-10-2009
Directed by Jean Durand
Featuring Ernest Bourbon, Raymon Aimos, Berthe Dagmar
Country: France

Unhappy to discover he has to wait twenty years for his inheritence, Onesime (aka Simple Simon) modifies a clock to make it go fast, thus causing the world to go in fast motion.

This is an amusing enough silent short, but I suspect that the amusement is somewhat blunted by the fact that fast motion has been used many times since, and also by the fact that for years, silents were projected at the wrong speed, thus causing us to get used to silents appearing to be undercranked. In fact, the outdoor scenes of cars going by looks almost normal. Still, the short has one clever moment involving one of the speediest courtships on film; you’ll see a baby grow before your very eyes. Incidentally, writer Louis Feuillade would go on to fame as a director of early French serials, including FANTOMAS, JUDEX, and LES VAMPIRES.



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