Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants

Le Voyage de Gulliver à Lilliput et chez les Géants; silent fantasy short, France, 1902; D: Georges Méliès, S: Georges Méliès

Gulliver finds himself in the land of Lilliput, where the people are all dwarves. He is at first tied with a rope, but then released and given a lunch at a table, He uses water to extinguish a fire on one of the houses. He then finds himself in the land of giants, where this time he is a dwarf compared to them.

"Gulliver's Travels" is another among the pleanty playful short films by French veteran of the early cinema, Georges Melies: its running time is only about 4 minutes, and it consists out of only five cuts. Seeing these dazzling tricks and special effects - used to conjure up an illusion of small people compared to Gulliver - in a time when they were not even properly defined during the early days of cinema, is remarkable and charming, demonstrating once again Melies' level of ingenuity as an illusionist, yet also once again his inadequacy in the narrative, obvious in the random (and erratic) shifts between the scenes, where it seems as if the connecting part between them - to show how Gulliver came from point A to point D - was lost.


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