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  • Tchin-Tchao, the Chinese Conjurer

    Tchin-Tchao, the Chinese Conjurer

    ★½

    Just the same magician trick stuff Melies does, but this time it's exotic. Hoo boy.

  • The Untameable Whiskers

    The Untameable Whiskers

    ★★

    Impressive for the continued forays into gradual transformations rather than immediate ones. Aside from that, not much here.

  • Westinghouse Works

    Westinghouse Works

    ★★

    Documentary footage of the Westinghouse Factory. Mildly interesting just to see historical footage like this, but with little knowledge of what's going on, it's ultimately not very compelling.

  • The Cook in Trouble

    The Cook in Trouble

    ★★

    A cook turns away a beggar, who turns into a wizard and sets a bunch of devils to cause havoc in the kitchen. Not as clever as it could be and gets repetitive and redundant without offering many new tricks or gags.

  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin

    ★★★

    Best title design so far, by far! Still just denoting individual scenes, though. I'm not very familiar with the story, though I knew the broad strokes, but this was easier than some of the others to follow. Still quite disjointed narratively, but an improvement. Interesting to see so many scenes of dancing in a silent film.

  • Every Man His Own Cigar Lighter

    Every Man His Own Cigar Lighter

    ½

    This is three seconds of Melies in disguise lighting a cigar. Apparently it may be part of a larger lost film, but on its own, this is pretty baffling.

  • The Imperceptable Transmutations

    The Imperceptable Transmutations

    ★★½

    From my notes:

    Okay, this was a better Melies than the last couple. The time the transmutations take before taking full effect is cool, instead of being instantaneous. It's not a simple stop-and-start the camera, it's more of a gradual effect than that, so he is still innovating sometimes.

  • The Wonderful Living Fan

    The Wonderful Living Fan

    From my notes:

    Melies is getting dumber all the time. So it's a giant fan with people in it. Dumb.

  • The Mermaid

    The Mermaid

    ★½

    From my notes:

    This was like a bunch of Melies' other ideas and gags slapped together for no reason.

  • The Living Playing Cards

    The Living Playing Cards

    ★★

    Looks like I had this out of order on my playlist. Oops.

    From my notes:

    I like how in Melies' magician ones, he always does the "nothing up my sleeve" things, even though obviously it's the camera that does the trick, not him. Surprised that would still fool anybody by 1905. This short is cute, but nothing super-impressive.

  • The Kingdom of Fairies

    The Kingdom of Fairies

    ★★½

    From my notes:

    Hand-tinted, otherwise poor print. One wonders how many films were meant to have live narration, like A Trip to the Moon did. These are nearly incomprehensible. That fairy kidnapping car is pretty cool, though. Storm and shipwreck and "underwater" part is pretty impressive, but I have no idea who anybody is. This is quite ambitious, I will say. If this had narration and a better print, it would work much better.

  • The Infernal Cakewalk

    The Infernal Cakewalk

    ½

    From my notes:

    Stagy even for Melies, with dancers doing the cakewalk in hell for no apparent reason. Curious if the black folk actually were black, or if it was blackface, in which case, ugh.