LE REVE DES MARMITONS (1908)
aka Scullion’s Dream
Article 4799 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Segundo de Chomon
What it is: Strange trick short
A group of kitchen workers drink a potion left by an imp. This puts them all to sleep, and then the imp cuts off their hands, which then work independently of the bodies.
If there’s one thing I can say about Segundo de Chomon, it’s that he’s quite capable of getting extremely weird in his work. That’s also the time when he’s most likely to come out from under the shadow of Melies and make his own mark. Most of the effects in this short make use of stop-motion animation, and some of it is quite impressive; a sequence where a basket is woven magically is quite impressive. And, what with all the hand dismemberment going on, it’s a rather grotesque short as well, but fortunately, the imp has the good manners to reattach everyone’s hands. The title implies that it’s all a dream, but I’m not sure who the dreamer is; maybe they’re all dreaming. At any rate, this is one of Chomon’s most striking shorts.