Thursday, October 01, 2009

the fairy of the surf (feuillade, 1909)

Not more refined than Melies' work but Feuillade's approach to phantasmagoria exhibits his capacity for directing individuals and groups, and his compositions create startling shapes and intersecting lines because of his human players rather than in spite of them. (See also The Colonel's Account.) Felt my heart lift during the final shot, a mesmerizing collage that celebrates what was then the cutting edge of film production: layers of in-camera effects, puppets, pageantry, hand-painted frames joined with early 2-strip color. Divine.

EDIT: Realize I called puppets "cutting edge 1909 technology.". Intended, rather, to indicate multitude of layers within shot, which mixes old & new, hi-tech with lo-, and such.

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