Pygmalion and Galatea (1898)

aka Pygmalion et Galathee
Article 4430 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 1-25-2014
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Jeanne d’Alcy
Country: France
What it is: Trick film

A sculptor’s statue comes to life, and the sculptor tries to possess her for his own.

I really don’t expect much in the way of plot in these very early trick films, but actually this one has the bare bones of one. It deals with the problems Pygmalion faces at being unable to possess the one he has made, and there’s actually a bit of a tragic air to the proceedings. The middle of the story is where the special effects are to be found, with the statue coming to life, magically disappearing and reappearing, and even breaking into two halves at one point. It’s a simple enough short, and quite enjoyable for what it is.


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