Metamorphoses (1912)

Article 4756 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 2-11-2015
Directed by Segundo de Chomon
Cast unknown
Country: France
What it is: Magic trick short

A female magician causes objects to transform into other objects with the use of a magic fire.

From what I gather, this was one of the last gasps of the “magic trick” shorts which I’ve been covering so many of lately. It falls roughly into two parts; in the first, we get close-ups of small objects going up in flames only to be transformed into other objects, which then do some stop-motion animated movement. The second half has the magician transforming the backgrounds of the sets. Obviously, it’s the first half of this one that’s more fun; stop-motion is one of the few special-effects techniques that Melies did not use, so it adds a bit of novelty value to this one. The second half is dull, but pretty. Like Melies, Chomon was nearing the end of his cinematic career at this point.

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