La fee printemps (1902)

    aka The Spring Fairy
    Article 4268 by Dave Sindelar
    Date: 7-18-2013
    Directed by Segundo de Chomon
    Cast unknown
    Country: France
    What it is: Fantasy trick film

    In the dead of winter, a couple offers food and shelter to a passing old woman. But perhaps this old woman is more than she seems…

    I really find it interesting to compare the works of Segundo de Chomon with those of Georges Melies. There are times where Chomon’s works seem to be little more than imitations of Melies’s movies, and there are times where he even outdoes Melies in terms of strangeness. There are also moments where he displays a lyrical quality that seems to lie outside of the Melies universe entirely, and this movie is one of those. I like little touches such as the fact when the fairy first appears, she is the only person in the scene to be hand-tinted, giving her a special quality. The scene where the winter landscape is transformed into a spring landscape, and where the fairy magically gathers flowers are handled with a grace that does not break the lyrical mood of the piece; Melies would most likely have taken the opportunity to show off more at the expense of the mood. Ultimately, this is a satisfying little trick film that also manages to tell a coherent little story as well.


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