In 1884, once he completed his military service, young Georges Meliès was sent to the other side of the Channel by his parents to learn English. In London, he was introduced to the magic shows of the famous duo Maskelyne and Cooke, which would highly inspire his work as a movie director a few years later.
With more than five-hundred movies and a daring character, Meliès literally transformed – or rather spurred the burgeoning of the cinema industry at the turn of the 20th century. By challenging his imagination, learning from technical mistakes and playing with the materiality of the tapes, Meliès was the first to introduce special effects in movies such as multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, growing or diminishing figures.
In pushing the boundaries of creativity and perceived reality, Meliès was able to free himself from the linearity and regularity of the first film makers, becoming known and respected as the first “Cinemagician.”
This coming Saturday, the Anthology Film Archives in New York celebrate the work of Georges Meliès by screening a selection of his most notable works.