Faust: apparition de Mephistopheles (1897)
Article 5636 by Dave Sindelar
What it is: Lumiere tries Melies
Faust has a vision of a woman and is visited by Mephistopheles.
The Lumiere brothers mostly did documentary slice-of-life shorts; this appears to be an attempt to try a little Meliesian special effects wizardry. There are two trick moments. One involves a sliding cabinet door opening to reveal a woman (this appears to be a stage trick of some kind), while the other is more cinematic as it involves Mephistopheles magically appearing in the scene. Nice to see Lumieres trying to stretch out a bit, but you can tell their heart’s not in it; the presentation is stodgy and dull.