The Indian Sorcerer (1908)

THE INDIAN SORCERER (1908)
aka Le fakir de Singapoure
Article 4714 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 12-21-2014
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Georges Melies
Country: France
What it is: Magic film

A wizard from Singapore performs tricks with a giant egg.

Melies made so many “magic trick” shorts (and they all seemed to come up at once in my viewing system) that sometimes I’m at a loss for anything to say about them. This one, however, made me realize that he was probably the best maker of this type of short. They were certainly about the tricks, but Melies paid quite a bit of attention to the other details, such as set design, movement, touches of dance and pantomime, visual presentation, and a certain visual wit. This one mostly consists of tricks involving a giant egg, and it uses a giant scale as one of its props, and both the egg and the scale have the advantage is that they’re interesting to look at, as well as the other aspects of the production. This makes the short watchable even if the tricks themselves aren’t particularly engaging. In short, there’s really only so much interest value in a “magic trick” short, but if I wanted to watch one, I’d prefer one from Melies.

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