EIGHT GIRLS IN A BARREL (1900)
aka Le tonneau des danaides, The Danaid’s Barrel
Article 4635 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Georges Melies
What it is: Trick film
A magician makes eight girls disappear into a barrel.
I have to admit that I found this one a bit disappointing. Granted, Melies’s magic trick films don’t really constitute his most interesting work, but they’re usually fast and furious and illustrate a variety of different illusions. This one has one trick (the magician leads a girl to the barrel, and she disappears into it) repeated eight times with very little variation; once you’ve seen the first one disappear, you’ve seen everything this short has to offer. Granted, there is a little variation in an end-of-the-short coda, but it’s fleeting. This one is just too predictable.