Transformations elastiques (1909)

Article 4291 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 8-18-2013
Directed by Segundo de Chomon (or Jean Durand)
Featuring Joaquim Renez (possibly)
Country: France
What it is: Trick short

A woman enters a room with a man. She creates a duplicate of him and changes his personality by throwing his clothes from one man to the next.

If I seem a little confused in the above credits, it’s for a reason. The listing for this movie was in the Walt Lee guide, where it is credited to Chomon. However, the listing from IMDB puts it a year later and credits the direction with Jean Durand, though they agree on the production company (Pathe Freres). The copy I found was on a Segundo de Chomon collection and sets the date back to 1908, so I’m confident I’ve watched the correct film; I’m just not confident the IMDB listing is correct.

As for the movie itself, it seems pretty minor for one this late in the decade; it runs about a couple of minutes, and just features a bunch of trick shots of dummies turning into a variety of different men as clothes are thrown back and forth to them. I suspect the movie may have actually been made much earlier, or that I’m watching only a fragment of the original. At any rate, there really isn’t much to it, and it’s a pretty minor work in the director’s oeuvre, whoever that is.

***NOTE*** I’ve since discovered that Chomon is the correct director of the short I’ve seen, which has long been confused with a lost movie by this name that is directed by Durand and features Renez.

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