Review: George Méliès: Encore DVD

STUDIO: Flicker Alley | DIRECTOR: George Méliès
RELEASE DATE: 2/16/2010 | PRICE: DVD $19.95
SPECS: NR | 114 min. | Silent with music | 1.33:1 fullscreen | Dolby Digital 2.0

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

This new Encore release is a single-disc supplement to Flicker Alley’s mammoth five-DVD collection, Georges Melies: First Wizard of Cinema, released in 2008. Encore offers an additional two dozen films created by the great French cinema pioneer between 1986 and 1911.

Presented in chronological order and with new music, these silent gems offer even more proof of Méliès’ technical methods and mastery, not to mention his often underestimated storytelling prowess. This is particularly evident in the fantasy Under the Seas (1907) and the drama The Christmas Angel (1904) which, clocking in at 10 minutes each, are two of the longest works in the collection.

Of course, Méliès remains best known for his primitive special effects-filled fantasy and dream films, which are represented on this DVD by the gorgeously hand-color and tinted Hallucinated Alchemist (1987) and A Mesmerian Experiment (1904). Also part of the package are two short films that were previously attributed to Méliès but were in actuality not his works, including Segundo de Chomon’s Excursion to the Moon (1908), inspired undoubtedly by Méliès’ own A Trip to the Moon (1902), which is available on the First Wizard collection.

The print quality on this DVD is outstanding for the most part, and the films themselves are a delight — lively, ambitious and wholly fascinating. It’s all great stuff and should be of interest to any and all who consider themselves lovers of cinema. Real cinema


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.