Andalusian Superstition (1912)

ANDALUSIAN SUPERSTITION (1912)
aka Superstition andalouse
Article 3475 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-13-2011
Posting Date: 2-18-2011
Directed by Segundo de Chomon
Cast unknown
Country: France / Spain
What it is: Drama with fantastic elements

A woman drives away a gypsy that is trying to beg coins off of her lover. She then envisions the gypsy’s revenge.

This short movie saves most of its special effects for the end, when the woman’s lover is trapped in a strange room with bottles containing various nightmarish demons. Yet there is one special effect early on that is particularly striking. When the woman begins to envision the gypsy’s revenge in her mind, it opens with the woman’s face as she ponders, and then her face moves nearer to us while the background remains static. This is not a new trick; I’m willing to bet it’s similar to the one used by Melies in THE MAN WITH THE RUBBER HEAD. What makes it striking here is that the purpose of the trick is to give us a sense of her mental state, and I don’t recall a movie from before this date that used special effects for that purpose before. The story is also pretty good, and this is another of Chomon’s shorts that is really worth seeing.

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