Moving Pictures
Feb 03, 2010, 11:49AM

The Godfather of Special Effects

Perhaps no one did as much for cinema as Georges Melies. 

A man makes a florid gesture as he stands between two white tables set against a black backdrop. He's slim, mid-30s, with a playfully intelligent expression. His gestures and beard announce him as unmistakably French. His fingers flutter, and he removes his head – while it continues to converse – and, headless, he places that head on a table, where it goes on talking silently (this is silent cinema). He grows another head, while the first never shuts up, then crawls under that table to prove no one is under the first head. He stands. Creates one more head. Places it beside the first. They yak at each other while he creates yet another and puts it on the second table. Procuring a banjo and chair so swiftly they might come out of thin air, he sits and sings. His heads sing along. He doesn't like the yowls of the two on his right, so he smashes them with his banjo. They vanish. As does the banjo. He removes his present head. Tosses it casually away. Places the head on the second table back on his shoulders. Exits with another florid gesture.


Register or Login to leave a comment