The New Lord of the Town (1908)
aka Le nouveau seigneur du village
Article 5652 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Georges Melies
Featuring Fernande Albany, Mlle. Bodson, Georges Melies
What it is: Melies fantasy
A lord visits a cave with strange creatures.
When the special effects are on show, this short is entertaining enough; after all, it’s from Melies. However, when the movie is focused on its plot, it’s a bore, at least partially because Melies doesn’t do much of a job of making his story clear. In the opening scene, for example, we see the lord talk with several people in the town square, but to what end remains obscure; all it accomplishes is to get things to a very slow start. At least one plot point involves the lord being magically reduced to a beggar while two of his fellow townspersons become wealthy, but the reasons for this never become clear. As such, this is far from Melies’s best, with only the middle section being much fun.