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With: n/a
Written by: Georges Méliès
Directed by: Georges Méliès
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 114
Date: 03/19/2013

Georges Méliès: Encore (2010)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Tactical Magic

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In 2008, Flicker Alley performed the gargantuan task of compiling 173 surviving Georges Méliès films into one giant, five-disc DVD box set, Georges Méliès: First Wizard of Cinema - 1896-1913, which ran "over 13 hours." Since the release of that set, 26 more films have surfaced, and Flicker Alley has dutifully released a single disc supplement to the big box set. (I suppose, if they were really ruthless, they could have re-issued the set with the extra disc and made customers pay for the original five discs again!) But though it's meant as a companion piece, it also works well as a stand alone. It shows Méliès in some different moods; the set includes more trick films, military re-enactments, "dream films," slapstick comedies (How Bridget's Lover Escaped) and even some heavy melodramas worthy of D.W. Griffith.

Some of these dramatic epics, The Christmas Angel (1904) in particular, don't move very well in a narrative sense, and Méliès intended for live readers to narrate along with the films. Flicker Alley provides this original narration both in French and in English. The set also includes Under the Seas (1907), with some interesting camera effects, and an early chiller called The Haunted Castle (1896). There are some fragments here as well, such as the interesting-looking Robinson Crusoe (1902), as well as a couple of Méliès imitations that audiences and historians often mistook for the real thing. The cardboard DVD box comes with a helpful list of films, dates, running times and information about the (brand new) musical scores.

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