I knew this story already from a devastating Disney short from a few years ago, and this one is also devastating. Very good use of superimposed images to show the poor matchgirl's dreams, as well as the final outcome. Use of subtle trickery for a narrative purpose seems to be a specialty of the British filmmakers of the time.
The print of this on Youtube is GORGEOUSLY hand-painted. The story is a thief stealing something from Ali Baba and then getting caught, I think (I kind of lost track of the narrative toward the end), but with lots of interludes for lavish caravans and pretty ladies dancing. More beautiful than actually good, I think, but it's very nice to look at for ten minutes.
A reconstruction of the 1902 volcanic eruption, using models. This was fairly popular at the time, a sort of after-the-fact newsreel, and not only by Melies - J. Stuart Blackton did them in the US, too. The colors on the film are really good, shifting from yellow to red to match the action.
Most of the other early sport films I've seen were boxing (including a 20 minute one I couldn't make it through), and soccer was a welcome change for me, heh. There are two things I liked about this - the opening segment is actually a long pan across the stands, in strikingly good quality for the time (well-preserved, too), and then when the game is going on, the camera pans around to follow the action. Seemingly obvious, but camera movement was NOT standard at the time, and this is really fluid, natural movement.
Starting to get some Edwin S. Porter into the mix, and this is a pretty good one. The whole basic story is here, though the giant is basically just a big dude, and there's a whole bit with a fairy or something who has to magic everything all the time to make it work which I don't remember from any other version, but it's enjoyable. Nice to see more extended narratives told understandably.
This movie was made for me.
How it entered my Flickchart:
La La Land > The Terminal
La La Land > The Champ (1931)
La La Land > An American in Paris
La La Land < The King and I
La La Land > Young Bess
La La Land < The Awful Truth
La La Land > Toot Whistle Plunk and Book
La La Land < Millennium Actress
La La Land < The Rescuers
La La Land > JFK
La La Land > Mean Streets
La La Land > Shaun of the Dead
Final #320 out of 3809 (92%)
A re-enactment, or so I hear, since Edison was denied his request to be present at the actual execution. I'm okay with that.
Missing a bit from the end, but aside from that, this is a pretty solid and straight-forward adaptation, with some good superimposition effects. Also the first time I've seen title cards, used as section headers with a chapter title and a bit of description of what's going to happen.
I feel like this is a film made for the people who didn't like No Country for Old Men's ending.
Here's how it entered my Flickchart:
Hell or High Water > Just Around the Corner
Hell or High Water < Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
Hell or High Water > The Crying Game
Hell or High Water < The Usual Suspects
Hell or High Water < Through a Glass Darkly
Hell or High Water < On the Waterfront
Hell or High Water < Sneakers