A MOONLIGHT SERENADE, OR A MISER PUNISHED (1904)
aka Au clair de la lune ou Pierror malheureux
Article 4216 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Georges Melies
What it is: Strange drama
A starving clown is not allowed to sing for his supper by a stingy miser, but fortunately the moon comes to his rescue.
The comeuppance of a villain (in this case, the miser) is a fairly common theme, but this one is pretty bizarre variation on the subject. This is no doubt due to Melies’s affection for strange visual effects, and the strangest one here (in which the moon turns into a closeup of an eyeball) is pretty jarring. It’s probably not surprising that the plot is a little obscure at times, but the short’s biggest problem is its rather slow beginning; for a while it looks like there will be no special effects at all. This is one of Melies’s oddest works.