Les cocottes en papier (1909)

aka Paper Cock-a-Doodles
Article 4825 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 5-18-2015
Directed by Segundo de Chomon
Featuring Julienne Mathieu
Country: France
What it is: Magic trick short

A woman magician performs tricks, many of which involve chickens made out of paper.

This short epitomizes just what you’d expect from a Segundo de Chomon magic trick short. He borrows several touches from Melies (the basic format, finding times to fit in dancing girls and acrobats), but adds a few of his own touches (such as the extensive use of stop motion animation). The most striking moment to me is when the magician walks in front of the special effects; usually, these type of shorts have the magician steering clear of doing something like that (which I assumed was to avoid calling attention to the double-exposure of the effect), but here she twice walks in front of the illusion to position herself at the opposite side. The special effects are very solid in this one as well. This one is a strong example of the early magic trick shorts.

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