Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants

Last updated
Le Voyage de Gulliver à Lilliput et chez les géants
Directed by Georges Méliès
Based on
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 .

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

Related Research Articles

<i>A Trip to the Moon</i> 1902 film

A Trip to the Moon is a 1902 French adventure film directed by Georges Méliès. Inspired by a wide variety of sources, including Jules Verne's novels From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon, the film follows a group of astronomers who travel to the Moon in a cannon-propelled capsule, explore the Moon's surface, escape from an underground group of Selenites, and return to Earth with a captive Selenite. It features an ensemble cast of French theatrical performers, led by Méliès himself in the main role of Professor Barbenfouillis, and is filmed in the overtly theatrical style for which Méliès became famous.

<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.

<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.

<i>Under the Seas</i> 1907 film from Georges Méliès

Under the Seas is a silent film made in 1907 by the French director Georges Méliès. The film, a parody of the novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, follows a fisherman who dreams of traveling by submarine to the bottom of the ocean, where he encounters both realistic and fanciful sea creatures, including a chorus of naiads.

Georges Méliès filmography filmography

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.

Georges Méliès French pioneer film maker and illusionist

Marie-Georges-Jean 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.

<i>Cinderella</i> (1899 film) 1899 film by Georges Méliès

Cinderella is an 1899 French film directed by Georges Méliès, based on the fairy tale by Charles Perrault. It was released by Méliès's Star Film Company and is numbered 219–224 in its catalogues, where it is advertised as a grande féerie extraordinaire en 20 tableaux.

<i>The Coronation of Edward VII</i> 1902 film by Georges Méliès

The Coronation of Edward VII, also released as Reproduction, Coronation Ceremonies, King Edward VII and as Coronation of King Edward, is a 1902 short silent film directed by Georges Méliès and produced by Charles Urban. The film is a staged simulation of the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, produced in advance of the actual coronation for release on the same day.

<i>The Haunted Castle</i> (1897 French film) 1897 film by Georges Méliès

Le Château hanté, released in the United States as The Devil's Castle and in Britain as The Haunted Castle, is an 1897 French short silent film directed by Georges Méliès. It is a remake of The House of the Devil that contrariwise released in the United States as The Haunted Castle and in Britain as The Devil's Castle thus they are often confused with each other.

<i>The Devil in a Convent</i> 1899 film by Georges Méliès

The Devil in a Convent, released in the UK as "The Sign of the Cross", or the Devil in a Convent, is an 1899 French short silent film directed by Georges Méliès.

<i>The Barber of Seville</i> (1904 film) 1904 film by Georges Méliès

The Barber of Seville, also released as The Barber of Sevilla, or the Useless Precaution, was a 1904 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès, based on the play of the same name by Pierre Beaumarchais. It was released by Méliès's Star Film Company and is numbered 606–625 in its catalogues, where it was advertised as a comédie burlesque en 7 actes, d'après Beaumarchais. Like several other of Méliès's longer films, two versions were released simultaneously: a complete 22-minute print and an abridged print.

<i>Humanity Through the Ages</i> 1908 film by Georges Méliès

Humanity Through the Ages, released in the US initially as Humanity Through Ages, is a 1908 historical drama film directed by Georges Méliès. The film is an episodic narrative displaying examples of humankind's brutality, from the story of Cain and Abel through the Hague Convention of 1907.

<i>The Mysterious Retort</i> 1906 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès

L'Alchimiste Parafaragaramus ou la Cornue infernale, released in the United States as The Mysterious Retort and in Britain as The Alchemist and the Demon, is a 1906 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès. It was released by Méliès's Star Film Company and is numbered 874–876 in its catalogues.

<i>The Melomaniac</i> 1903 film by Georges Méliès

The Melomaniac is a 1903 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès.

Le Chevalier des Neiges, known in English as The Knight of the Snows or The Knight of the Snow, is a 1912 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès.

<i>A Fantastical Meal</i> 1900 film by Georges Méliès

A Fantastical Meal is a 1900 French short silent trick film directed by Georges Méliès. It was released by Méliès's Star Film Company and is numbered 311 in its catalogues.

Le Voyage de la famille Bourrichon is a 1912 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès, based on a music-hall comedy by Eugène Labiche. It is a comedy in the style of Max Linder, and is notable for being Méliès's last film.

Cinderella or the Glass Slipper is a 1913 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès, based on the fairy tale by Charles Perrault.

<i>The Christmas Angel</i> 1905 film by Georges Méliès

Détresse et Charité, released in the United States as The Christmas Angel and in Britain as The Beggar Maiden, is a 1904 French short silent film directed by Georges Méliès. It was released by Méliès's Star Film Company and is numbered 669–677 in its catalogues.

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