OMBRES CHINOISES (1908)
aka Les ombres chinoises, Silhouettes
Article 5288 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Segundo de Chomon
Featuring Julienne Mathieu
What it is: Special effects short
Two Oriental girls present a magical animated sequence to us.
A user comment on IMDB speculates that Emile Cohl may have been involved with this production, due to the fact that the middle section of this short involves an animated sequence that seems more at home in Cohl’s oeuvre than it does in Chomon’s. Though I suppose it’s a possibility, the sequence doesn’t really remind me of Cohl’s style. It does, however, remind me of the style of Terry Gilliam’s animated sequences for Monty Python, and I suspect the animation was done in roughly the same way with cutout figures. The animated sequence is the most interesting thing here; the framing live-action sequences are not memorable, and I haven’t a clue as to what’s going on during the last forty seconds of the movie when the women restructure a frame to add what looks like a screen only to remove it shortly afterwards. At any rate, this first came to my hunt list under a deceptive name, so I’m glad to have discovered that I actually had a copy handy.