Playing Cards (French: Une partie de cartes), or Card Party, is an 1896 French short black-and-white silent film by Georges Méliès. It was the first film in Méliès’ prolific career, and thus is number one in his Star Film catalogue. It is a remake of Louis Lumière’s film The Messers. Lumière at Cards, which was released earlier the same year. Along with Georges Méliès himself, his brother Gaston Méliès and daughter Georgette Méliès both appear in the film.
The film depicts a typical afternoon scene in a French garden. Three men are sitting at a table, two of them playing cards while the third smokes and reads a newspaper. The man who is not playing cards calls over a young girl and has her fetch a woman with a bottle of wine. He proceeds to pour glasses for himself and his friends. After drinking the wine, the man reads a story out of the newspaper causing his friends to laugh. The film lasts roughly 67 seconds.
Felix, an introverted researcher, asks the worldly Dr. Voluntas to guide him toward worldly pleasures. Dr. Voluntas accepts the invitation and leads his laboratory rival down the path of dissipation.
One striking motif is that of a sweeping darkness associated with Voluntas’ control over Felix.
Directed By –
Gunnar Tolnæs Doctor Voluntas
Carlo Wieth Doctor Felix
Johanne Blom Fritz-Petersen Margaret
Henry Seemann Vincent Lieutenant, Margaret’s brother
Betzy Kofoed Sara, Margaret and Vincent’s Aunt
Arne Weel Seidel, medical student
Ellen Møller maid
Doctor Voluntas [Danish], Le Docteur Voluntas [French], The Master Physician [English], Folly of Sin [English], El Dr. Voluntas [Spanish], Dammon’s Triumphe [German], Under Friendship’s Mask [English], The Victory will [Norwegian], The victorious will [Danish], the will that wins [Swedish]
Danish Silent Movie with English subtitles available
Two men are operating a ‘dog factory’, using a device that they call a Dog Transformator. A man brings three dogs into their shop, which they purchase from him. They place the dogs one by one into the machine, which turns each dog into a string of sausages. As their customers come in, they are then able to select the kind of dog that they want, and the machine changes the corresponding string of sausages back into a dog.
Director: Edwin S. Porter
Production company: Edison Studios
Cinematography: Edwin S. Porter
An early documentary film about the City of Melbourne, then the interim capital city of Australia. Made in 1910.
The director Charles Cozens Spencer was famous for his bushranger films: “Captain Starlight” (Robbery Under Arms), “Captain Midgnight – The Bush King”, “The Life and Adventures of John Vane, The Notorious Australian Bushranger”, “Dan Morgan, The Terror of the Australian Bush” (Mad Dog Morgan). He also made the 1915 Film “The Shepherd of the Southern Cross.” He introduced Australia’s greatest silent film-maker, Raymond Longford, to the business. He died in September 1930 (he shot himself after going on a killing spree in Canada).
Special contents of this edition copyright 2010 Shane I Sullivan. Permission to use these items is granted under creative commons licence.
Also known as In the Life Spine
German film with English subtitles
Marriage between Margit and artist Erik Lind is interrupted by her infatuation with squire *Arvid Sund. She gives up the relationship because of Erik’s illness and death. Arvid’s brother however, brings the two back together.
Director: Heinz Schall
Writer: Louis Levy (screenplay)
Stars: Asta Nielsen, Bruno Eichgrün, Walter Wolffgram
A Brahman stuffs a serpent into a cocoon, and a butterfly woman comes out. She makes more butterflies come out of the same cocoon till a whole crowd of them are swarming the jungle. When the Brahman tries to catch the queen she turns him into the serpent who slinks off into the jungle.
Director: Segundo de Chomón
Director: Segundo de Chomón
Filmed in 1900 and released in 1903, this clip from director Clément Maurice, shows the English performer Little Tich performing his famous “Big Boot Dance”. Born Harry Relph, Little Tich was a 4 foot 6 inch (137 cm) tall English music hall comedian and dancer best known for his seemingly gravity-defying routine accomplished by the wearing of boots with soles 28 inches (71 cm) long. Originally gaining fame as a “blackface” artist, promoters on his 1887 U.S. tour made him drop the act (fearing the British accent would ruin the “illusion”) and so in its place Little Tich developed and perfected his Big Boot Dance, a full 100 years before Michael Jackson would lean in similar fashion for his “Smooth Criminal” music video. Returning to England in the 1890s, Little Tich made his West End debut in the Drury Lane pantomimes and toured Europe before setting up his own theatre company in 1895. He continued to star in popular shows until his death from a stroke in 1928 at the age of 60.