ARTISTIC RAG-PICKERS (1908)
aka Chiffonniers et caricaturistes, The Rag-Picker Caricaturist
Article 4878 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Segundo de Chomon
What it is: Stop-motion trick short
Two rag-pickers demonstrate their magical artistic prowess with their given mediums.
This silent short falls roughly into two parts. In the first, the male rag-picker throws scraps onto a black sheet of paper and they form themselves via stop-motion into caricatures of various famous people. In the second part, the female rag-picker demonstrates how her clay arrangements form themselves into strange faces. Beyond demonstrating these two special-effect techniques, there’s not much purpose to this short. It’s fairly entertaining, but it probably would have been even more entertaining to see it when it was first made and recognize the various personages being caricatured; beyond a couple that were of Teddy Roosevelt, I really couldn’t tell you the identities of the models. The clay sculptures don’t appear to be of specific people; the faces are rather demonic, and one looks a bit like Popeye. Chalk it up as another trick short from the silent era.