Georges Méliès: First Wizard of Cinema – 1896-1912 (France). A selection of his fantastic magic films and imaginary journeys.

Invaluable assistance has been provided by Hervé Devoulon, General Manager of the Alliance Française de Sydney.

The Festival acknowledges the support for this session of Abbey's Language Book Centre: Australia's lar

gest range of resources for learning and reading other languages, foreign fiction, DVDs and children's products.

Tickets: $25/$15 concession
Film: digital presentation of restored film
Duration: 95 minutes

Live music: accompanist Mauro Colombis

The Festival acknowledges the generous assistance of the inestimable David Shepard and Blackhawk Films in the presentation of these films.

Presenter:  Ruth Hessey
Ruth has worked all sides of the camera and currently broadcasts each week on Radio National's MovieTime. She has reviewed and interviewed for all of Australia's major media outlets (ABC, SMH, The Age, Rolling Stone, etc), and is the former host of pay TV's World Movies. She has made two short documentaries and has a television series and a feature in development with Goalpost Pictures. Ruth has been on numerous film festival jury panels (Flickerfest International Short Film Festival, Brisbane International Film Festival, and more), and has acted extensively for stage and screen. She is currently finishing a novel set in 1930s Sydney.

 A very special treat concludes the Festival and will remain vivid in viewers’ minds for a long time. The fascinating and extraordinary films by French cinema pioneer, Georges Méliès will entertain, amuse and enchant everyone. It will also surprise many to s

ee special effects used in motion pictures as early as 1896!

With a background as a stage magician, Méliès immediately saw the possibilities of using the new technology of moving pictures, successfully experimenting with multiple exposures, time-lapse photograp

hy, dissolves and other effects to re-create his magical stage shows on film, as well as expanding into other genres.

Although these early films average only a few minutes in length and do not tell a story, they entertain with their unexpectednes

s, unpredictability, charming old-world painted backdrops and sets, and simply the wonder of trickery and the magic of moving pictures – enthralling today as it was over a century ago!

The one-hour session presented by the Festival is divided into four segments: Discovery of Cinema, highlighting three very short films from the year 1896 – the very birth of cinema! Magical Movies features

 a variety of magical fantasy films including Gulliver’s Travels Among the Lilliputians from 1902. Mischievous Méliès is another collection of films from 1903-04 including The Cook in Trouble and The Black Imp.
The session ends with Impossible Voyages featuring two lengthier films of a Sci-Fi Fantasy genre in the style 

of Jules Verne, namely The Eclipse (1907) and Conquest of the Pole (1912)


This session presents a select choice of some of his best-known films and also rarely-seen ones, and they are important to the serious cinema enthusiast as well as simply enjoyable entertainment for the general public.


Georges Méliès – First Wizard of Cinema

Méliès' Discovery of Cinema 
Card Party18961:00
The Vanishing Lady18961:15
A Nightmare18961:00
 This segment3:15
Méliès' Magical Movies  
The One-Man Band19001:30
The Triple Conjurer and the Living Head19001:15
Excelsior! The Prince of Magicians19012:00
The Devil and the Statue19012:00
Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians19024:00
The Kingdom of Fairies190316:30
 This segment27:15
Mischievous Méliès  
Cakewalk Infernal19035:30
Jupiter's Thunderballs19033:30
The Cook in Trouble19044:30
The Black Imp19054:00
A Crazy Composer19054:30
 This segment22:00
Impossible Voyages  
The Eclipse19079:15
Conquest of the Pole191230:30
 This segment39:45