THE SKIPPING CHEESES (1907)
aka Les fromages automobiles
Article 4262 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Georges Melies
What it is: Bizarre trick short
When an argument about the odor of the wares of a cheese vendor result in her arrest, her own wares come to her rescue.
I’ve shown several of Melies’s shorts to my friends, and for some reason, this little oddity seems to have become the favorite of the bunch. It’s not really Melies’s special effects expertise that is the reason for its popularity; it’s the sheer absurdity of the premise coupled with the “English as a second language” narration by a Frenchman. The vision of a police department under attack by murderous cheeses is something to be reckoned with, and the deadpan description in particular of the death of the magistrate is pretty hilarious to these ears. No, it’s not one of Melies’s best, but it is one of the more jaw-dropping concepts he’s worked with.