BENVENUTO CELLINI; OR, THE CURIOUS EVASION (1904)
aka Benvenut Celiini ou Une curieuse evasion
Article 4428 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Georges Melies
What it is: Minor trick short
The king’s sculptor is imprisoned until he produces a work that the king likes. While in the dungeon, the sculptor sees a vision of a beautiful woman and uses that for his subject.
I had thought that the two Flicker Alley collections had captured all of the extant Melies, but either I was wrong or some new ones have cropped up. This one is actually pretty minor in terms of its fantastic content; the appearance of the beautiful woman is about the only element, though the speed with which the sculptor puts the statue together might also come under consideration. My copy is missing both the beginning of the story and the very end, which is a little unfortunate, as most of what plot there is is covered in the missing footage. Given how elaborate many of Melies’s other movies are, this one can’t help but be a bit disappointing, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to see it.