Le peintre neo-impressionniste (1910)

LE PEINTRE NEO-IMPRESSIONNISTE (1910)
aka The Neo-Impressionist Painter
Article 4772 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 3-3-2015
Directed by Emile Cohl
Cast unknown
Country: France
What it is: Illustrated joke

An artist is interrupted in his work by a potential buyer for his paintings. The artist shows the buyer some of his work.

The above description doesn’t give any clue to the fantastic content of the short, so all I’m going to say is that Cohl illustrates each of the paintings with an animated sequence, one of which at least displays a supernatural creature. As for the short itself, it’s largely a set-up for several variations on the same joke, and if you know the significance of the phrase “a polar bear eating marshmallows in a blizzard”, you know the joke. In short, the artist shows up various pictures that, thanks to hand-coloring, are all of single hue, and then describes in the way the phrase above would be used to illustrate a totally white canvas. I couldn’t totally understand the title cards (as they’re in French), but Cohl then runs a short animation of each painting and you get the gist of what it’s claiming to portray. There’s also a two-tone painting that has a different description depending on whether it’s viewed right side up or upside down. It’s a fairly cute concept, but it’s hardly one of Cohl’s best, nor is it very representative of his work.

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