Rolling heads, disappearing persons, horrified expressions from grainy black and white characters with heavy makeup and thick, twirled, moustaches. Makes you nervous, no? Well, don’t be! These shorts are comically mysterious, featuring major comic stars of the times and are historical artifacts, all of them directed by the great Georges Méliès!
The silent era of film saw the most variety of aspect ratios (a film’s ratio of width to height). Each of the following Méliès movies are in 1.33:1.
Dislocations mystérieuses (1901)
Staring André Deed, a major French comic film star of the time, this mysterious short stars only Deed, as a Pierrot, in a cave. Then where do the dancing troupe come from? The clown’s limbs and even head become detached and float to the empty space, surrounding the stool his torso is propped on, to dance!
L’homme à la tête en caoutchouc (1901)
The head of the chemist is that of Méliès himself! The illusion of an expanding head was created by first zooming in on the head and then superimposing into the main film. What a long title, for a short film! Actually, 3 minutes in duration, this film is the longest of the 3 featured here!
Le magicien (1898)
Embodying the technique of trick photography, this highly animated and action filled short contains not one but three characters! The magician, the Pierrot, and the lovely statue-turned-statuesque female. From surprise, to disappointment, the character’s facial expressions and body language are fantastic.
If you like this article, we suggest reading: Georges Melies and His 'Trip to the Moon'