THE GENII OF FIRE (1908)
aka La genie du feu
Article 4671 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Georges Melies
What it is: Special effects horror short
A pair of tourists explores an ancient temple despite the warnings of a guard.
Around this time, Melies seems to have been concentrating on the story-telling aspect of his craft, and he wasn’t always successful. On that level, this is one of his better efforts in that, from a story perspective, it’s fairly easy to follow. Granted, with a running time of about four minutes, it isn’t exactly a very complex story, and the special effects attached to the story are pretty much standard Melies fare; they’re well done, but they’re also nothing new. It’s also one of his more serious outings; at any rate, it’s about as serious as he can make it despite the ubiquitous tumbling imps and contortionists he likes to use in his shorts. Still, it is one of his lesser shorts.