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Showing posts from May 24, 2012

Le Diable au Convent (1899) - George Melies

Le Diable au Convent is longer than the two previous Georges Méliès ventures into short form horror. This particular French short shows the Devil himself running a convent and terrorizing the poor old nuns that live there. However he is finally vanquished by the good of Faith.

This is yet another Méliès classic, showcasing the art work that really goes into his short film-making. This is one of the earliest examples of a horror movie that could rely on its elaborate set design and artistic design. Everything in this film, although horribly aged, has been packaged extremely well. If you are a fan of production and set design then I would highly recommend just about anything that Melies has his name on.

Though nothing that is considered too extreme actually happens, Satan does have his way with a convent. The satanic imagery itself must have kept this film on the traveling carnival circuit. It certainly wouldn’t fit into the good moral bag that society shoved itself into back in those …

The X-Rays (1897) - George Albert Smith

The X-Rays (aka. The X-Ray Fiend) is another film from George Albert Smith. Smith directed The Haunted Castle, a remake of a George Melies film, earlier that year. The X-Rays shows us a young woman that gets confronted by an adoring older man. The older man flirts and blushes. Then an X-Ray camera floats in, or is attached to some figure in black, and presumably turns the couple inside out. Then they return to normal when the camera leaves. Fin.
That is the entire short from beginning to end. It has no purpose or thought, the camera head man doesn't seem to return in this form to any other media. This was just an odd find that happened to fit rather nicely right after The Haunted Castle.
The film takes advantage of an early “camera-trick,” the jump shot. The quick cut. The Quick Cut has actors stay in place when the director says “Cut!” They have to freeze every muscle in their body. Once something on the set has been changed the director resumes filming and the actors go about t…