Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants

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Le Voyage de Gulliver à Lilliput et chez les géants
Directed by Georges Méliès
Written by Jonathan Swift
Release date
  • 1902 (1902)
CountryFrance
LanguageSilent

Le Voyage de Gulliver à Lilliput et chez les Géants, released in the United States as Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants and in the United Kingdom as Gulliver's Travels—In the land of the Lilliputians and the Giants, [1] is a 1902 French short silent film directed by Georges Méliès, based on Jonathan Swift's 1726 novel Gulliver's Travels .

A short film is any motion picture not long enough to be considered a feature film. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences defines a short film as "an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits". In the United States, short films were generally termed short subjects from the 1920s into the 1970s when confined to two 35mm reels or less, and featurettes for a film of three or four reels. "Short" was an abbreviation for either term.

Silent film film with no synchronized recorded dialogue

A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound. In silent films for entertainment, the plot may be conveyed by the use of title cards, written indications of the plot and key dialogue lines. The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, the introduction of synchronized dialogue became practical only in the late 1920s with the perfection of the Audion amplifier tube and the advent of the Vitaphone system. During the silent-film era that existed from the mid-1890s to the late 1920s, a pianist, theater organist—or even, in large cities, a small orchestra—would often play music to accompany the films. Pianists and organists would play either from sheet music, or improvisation.

Georges Méliès French pioneer filmmaker and illusionist

Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès, known as Georges Méliès, was a French illusionist and film director who led many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema. Méliès was well-known for the use of special effects, popularizing such techniques as substitution splices, multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted colour. He was also one of the first filmmakers to use storyboards. His films include A Trip to the Moon (1902) and The Impossible Voyage (1904), both involving strange, surreal journeys somewhat in the style of Jules Verne, and are considered among the most important early science fiction films, though their approach is closer to fantasy.

Contents

Production

Méliès himself plays Gulliver in the film. [2] The visual differences of scale between Gulliver and the countries he visits were created using multiple exposures and miniature models; Méliès uses substitution splices and careful exposure design to merge the various elements and give them a sense of apparently seamless action. [3] Some scenes were filmed outdoors, in Méliès's garden in Montreuil, Seine-Saint-Denis, so that the camera could be far away enough from the Lilliputians to make them look small. [2]

Multiple exposure superimposition of two or more exposures to create a single image

In photography and cinematography, a multiple exposure is the superimposition of two or more exposures to create a single image, and double exposure has a corresponding meaning in respect of two images. The exposure values may or may not be identical to each other.

Substitution splice

The substitution splice or stop trick is a cinematic special effect in which filmmakers achieve an appearance, disappearance, or transformation by altering one or more selected aspects of the mise-en-scène between two shots while maintaining the same framing and other aspects of the scene in both shots. The effect is usually polished by careful editing to establish a seamless cut and optimal moment of change. It has also been referred to as stop motion substitution or stop-action.

Montreuil, Seine-Saint-Denis Commune in Île-de-France, France

Montreuil is a commune in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 6.6 km (4.1 mi) from the center of Paris. It is the fourth most populous suburb of Paris. Montreuil is located near the Bois de Vincennes park.

Release and legacy

Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants was released by Méliès's Star Film Company and is numbered 426–429 in its catalogues. [1] In early 1903, the Edison Manufacturing Company sold duplicated prints of Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants, as well as of Méliès's other films Joan of Arc and Robinson Crusoe , in the United States. [4] Siegmund Lubin also advertised a Gulliver's Travels film in 1903; this may have been an attempt by Lubin to ride on the popularity of Méliès's version. [5]

Star Film Company French film production company

The Manufacture de Films pour Cinématographes, often known as the Star Film Company, was a French film production company run by the illusionist and film director Georges Méliès.

Edison Manufacturing Company

The Edison Manufacturing Company was a company organized in 1889 by the inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Edison that manufactured batteries, machinery and equipment, and also produced kinetoscope films. Its assets and operations were transferred to Thomas A. Edison, Inc. in 1911.

<i>Joan of Arc</i> (1900 film) 1900 film by Georges Méliès

Joan of Arc is a 1900 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès, based on the life of Joan of Arc.

In 1988, Jean-Pierre Mocky directed Gulliver, a three-minute remake of Méliès's film, as part of the TF1 television program Méliès 88. At the time, the film was one of 158 Méliès films presumed lost, but for which written scenarios survived; Mocky based his remake on Méliès's original scenario, but used a style and tone markedly different from Méliès's works. [6]

Jean-Pierre Mocky French actor, film director, editor, producer and screenwriter

Jean-Pierre Mocky is the pseudonym of Jean-Paul Adam Mokiejewski, a French film director, actor, screenwriter and producer.

A remake is a film, television series or some other form of entertainment that is based on an earlier product and tells the same, or a very similar, story.

TF1 French television channel

TF1 is a private national French TV channel, controlled by TF1 Group, whose major share-holder is Bouygues. TF1's average market share of 24% makes it the most popular domestic network. It is also considered to be the most viewed television channel in Europe. Flagship series include CSI, The Voice and House M.D.

A stencil-colored print of the film is held at the Cineteca di Milano. It is unknown whether Méliès authorized the coloring, as the stencil process is highly unusual in his oeuvre; [7] normally, his films were colored using an entirely freehand method supervised by the colorist Elisabeth Thuillier. [8]

Elisabeth Thuillier French film colourist

Elisabeth Thuillier was a French colourist who ran a workshop in Paris where her employees hand-coloured early films and photographic slides using her plans and colour choices. She is remembered especially for the work she did for the director Georges Méliès.

Reception

In their study of film adaptations of British literature, Gregory M. Colón Semenza and Robert J. Hasenfratz called Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants a "gorgeous film" that "remains very watchable due to its sheer imaginative and visual invention". [3]

A film adaptation is the transfer of a work or story, in whole or in part, to a feature film. Although often considered a type of derivative work, recent academic developments by scholars such as Robert Stam conceptualize film adaptation as a dialogic process.

Related Research Articles

<i>The Impossible Voyage</i> 1904 film by Georges Méliès

The Impossible Voyage, originally released in the US as An Impossible Voyage and in the UK as Whirling the Worlds, is a 1904 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès. Based in part on Jules Verne's play Journey Through the Impossible and modeled in style and format on Méliès's earlier, highly successful A Trip to the Moon, the film is a satire of scientific exploration in which a group of geographers attempt a journey into the interior of the sun.

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Georges Méliès (1861–1938) was a French filmmaker and magician generally regarded as the first person to recognize the potential of narrative film. He made about 520 films between 1896 and 1912, covering a range of genres including trick films, fantasies, comedies, advertisements, satires, costume dramas, literary adaptations, erotic films, melodramas, and imaginary voyages. His works are often considered as important precursors to modern narrative cinema, though some recent scholars have argued that Méliès's films are better understood as spectacular theatrical creations rooted in the 19th-century féerie tradition.

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References

  1. 1 2 Malthête, Jacques; Mannoni, Laurent (2008), L'oeuvre de Georges Méliès, Paris: Éditions de La Martinière, p. 345, ISBN   9782732437323
  2. 1 2 Malthête & Mannoni 2008 , p. 134
  3. 1 2 Semenza, Gregory M. Colón; Hasenfratz, Robert J. (2015), The History of British Literature on Film, 1895–2015, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 61–2
  4. Musser, Charles (1991), Before the Nickelodeon: Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company, Berkeley: University of California Press, p. 238, ISBN   0520060806
  5. Sadoul, Georges; Morris, Peter (1972). Dictionary of Films. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 251.
  6. "Gulliver", Jean-Pierre Mocky : le site officiel, retrieved 23 August 2015
  7. Malthête, Jacques (2013), "Un nitrate composite en couleurs : le Voyage dans la Lune de Georges Méliès, reconstitué en 1929", 1895, 71, doi:10.4000/1895.4784 , retrieved 2 January 2017
  8. Yumibe, Joshua (2012), Moving Color: Early Film, Mass Culture, Modernism, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, pp. 48, 75