The Lilliputian Minuet (1905)

aka Le menuet lilliputien
Article 4180 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 3-17-2013
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Georges Melies
Country: France
What it is: Magic trick short

A magician makes little people appear out of playing cards and do a dance.

This Melies short exists in only fragmentary form; just the last minute or so survives. However, since it seems to be another example of Melies’s magic films, I get the feeling that what we’re missing is the setup, which I bet involves the magician setting out the table, producing the playing cards, making them increase in size, and then setting some face cards on the table, which come to life and begin to dance; the last part pretty much is a reverse of the process. The title attraction is definitely present. My main impression is that it is a pretty conventional but rather charming take on a familiar Melies theme; I suspect the missing footage might well render the thing a bit too long, thereby losing some of its charm.

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