Transfigurations (1909)

aka Les transfigurations
Article 5353 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 1-23-2017
Directed by Emile Cohl
Cast unknown
Country: France
What it is: Partially animated silent short

A man with a “future-telling booth” allows customers to look inside to see how they or their loved ones will look in the future.

Despite the fact that the movie has a definite set-up, this is mostly an excuse for Emile Cohl to do what it is that he usually does – engage in stream-of-consciousness animation. Though he does mostly concentrate on changing human faces, he doesn’t limit himself to that; I don’t think anyone’s spouse is going to end up looking like a weather vane. Granted, most of the customers seem very unhappy with what they see in the booth; the only exception is the man who wants to see what his mother-in-law is really like, so the movie ends on a rather obvious joke. It’s pretty typical of the work of Cohl, and it’s a pretty fun short. I’m also not surprised that he had a short with this title; it describes most of his work.


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