Plongeur fantastique (1906)

PLONGEUR FANTASTIQUE (1906)
aka The Fantastic Diver
Article 4241 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 6-3-2013
Directed by Segundo de Chomon
Cast unknown
Country: France
What it is: Trick film

A swimmer shows off his unique diving styles.

The fantastic content here is that not only does the diver jump into the water; he also jumps out of the water back onto the diving board in an impossible way (through the magic of running the footage backwards). So we have a series of dives juxtaposed with a series of returns to the diving board, and I will credit the movie with having the foresight to not use the same backwards footage that they just ran forwards, so each scene is a little bit different. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that the trick gets old pretty quick; the initial gag is the best in that his first dive is fully clothed, but he returns wearing a swimsuit, but from there, even with the short’s slight running time of about three minutes, it gets tiresome. The Walt Lee book credits Gaston Velle as the director, but IMDB gives it as Chomon, which I assume may be the result that it’s often hard to figure out who actually directed these shorts.

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