Wednesday, October 9, 2013

L'AUBERGE ENSORCELÉE - Georges Méliès - "The Bewitched Inn" (1897)

 Tonight I've got some good old-time Wednesday Weirdness for you on this 9th day of The Halloween Countdown! This silent short is called "L'Auberge Ensorcelée" or in English, "The Bewitched Inn!" I'm sure to all you young whippersnappers, this little film is too crude and corny to take very serious at all, but historically, "The Bewitched Inn" is truly a wonder to behold!

 The maker and star of the movie was the famed illusionist and prestidigitator Georges Méliès. Georges was way ahead of his time, and you have to remember, this was made in 1897, the automobile was just getting rolling, and there hadn't even been a plane in the air yet, but Georges was already messing around with trick photography!

 "L'Auberge Ensorcelée" is only two minutes long, and honestly there's not a whole helluva lot going on! It's a simple tale of a weary traveler who just wants to get a good night's rest but is confounded by a room full of animated objects!

It's really just a platform for Georges to show off his talent in the realm of stop action trick photography!

The various things in the room move around and disappear and reappear and that's about how exciting it gets, but back in 1897, it was mind boggling!

After Georges strips down to his long johns, and finally tries to go to sleep, the whole bed disappears in the big climax!

Just to show you how fanciful Georges got later on in his some 553 productions, here's a beautiful still from his 1907 version of the Jules Verne tale "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!"

 A little less than two years ago, Tabonga did a piece on Georges' "Trip To The Moon" and he said in reference to Georges' work,  "I'll bet those are some tough titles to come by," but the truth is because we live in a such an age of amazing technology,  you can find about 123, if I counted correctly, of Georges' films to view or download for free at the Internet Archive! Now that's pretty cool!!

1 comment:

Lawson Desrochers said...

The movie "Hugo" from 2011 is Martin Scorsese's fanciful homage to his hero, Georges Méliès, and is well worth a look (and features some pretty impressive 3-D). The recreation of the vintage sets are breathtaking, and historically accurate.

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