Up-to-Date Spiritualism (1900)

UP-TO-DATE SPIRITUALISM (1900)
aka Spiritisme abracadabrant
Article 4845 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 6-11-2015
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Georges Melies
Country: France
What it is: Comic trick short

A hapless buffoon finds himself tormented by spirits when he tries to remove his hat and coat.

IMDB lists this movie as being from 1903, but my other sources say 1900 (including the Melies boxed set which features the short), and my gut reaction is that this is the correct year. This also has the advantage of placing it slightly before GOING TO BED UNDER DIFFICULTIES, a much funnier short which takes the central premise of a man running into problems removing his clothing (the clothes keep reappearing on his body) and kicks it into the stratosphere. Maybe it’s just because I’d rather like to see this one as the short that came up with an idea he improved upon rather than seeing it as a tepid recycling of a gag he’d done earlier. On its own terms, this is amusing enough, and it manages to hold the interest throughout its two-minute running time, though I’m not sure whether the spiritualism on show here is particularly up-to-date.

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