Les des magiques (1908)

LES DES MAGIQUES (1908)
aka Magic Dice
Article 4745 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 1-29-2015
Directed by Segundo de Chomon
Cast unknown
Country: France
What it is: Trick short

Dice of various sizes are used in a series of magic acts and dance numbers.

At his best, Chomon manages to stake out an identity that sets him apart from his primary inspiration, Georges Melies. Unfortunately, he’s not at his best with this one. Its biggest problem is a certain lack of variety. The short has a fixed format; first, a trick involving the dice is performed, then a dancer or acrobat (or group of dancers or acrobats) appears and dances or performs acrobatics, then another trick, then more performers, etc. until the short finishes. Unfortunately, the short runs on long enough that you have enough time to spot and get tired of this pattern. The tricks aren’t particularly novel, and though Chomon makes more extensive use of running the film backwards than Melies does, here he overuses it. It’s pretty enough to look at, but the lack of surprises eventually takes its toll.

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