AN HALLUCINATED ALCHEMIST (1897)
aka L’hallucination de l’alchimiste
Article 3163 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-10-2010
Posting Date: 4-12-2010
Directed by Georges Melies
What it is: Trick short
An alchemist has a nightmare in which visions appear in a giant retort.
I got a strong sense of deja vu from watching this early Melies short (which, thanks to a recent collection of his works, has been rescued from my Lost list), but that’s because some of the ideas here would pop up in later shorts of his as well; in particular, this one reminds me of THE MYSTERIOUS RETORT. Still, the hand-colored print I watched was beautiful to look at, and, even at this late date of time, some of the effects are actually quite good. Still, this is one of Melies’s more minor shorts.
ADDENDUM: It has come to my attention that the movie I watched here has been mistitled; it is not the title given above, but is actually just a shorter version of THE MYSTERIOUS RETORT. In short, this review is for the wrong movie. I’ll let it stand here as a monument to the fact that mistakes will always be made.