Whimsical Illusions (1910)

aka Les illusions fantaisistes
Article 4710 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 12-16-2014
Directed by Georges Melies
Cast unknown
Country: France
What it is: Magic short

A magician performs tricks.

When you consider the lovely hand-coloring here as well as the smoothness of some of the camera tricks, it’s a little tempting to see this one as one of Melies’s more accomplished efforts at the “magician doing tricks” shorts that made up a large percentage of his works. Nevertheless, I have to count myself among the disappointed as far as this one goes. This may largely have to do with the fact that this one is from 1910, and I was a little surprised that he was still churning out shorts like these at that late a date. Furthermore, I don’t really see him pulling off any types of tricks that I haven’t seen him try before. However, there is a bit of novelty in how he stages some of the tricks, such as the one where he makes Santa Claus appear… and then dismembers him. It’s probably that sequence that most sets this one apart from the pack.

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