Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Silent Oscars: 1907

Known as the "Spanish Méliès," Segundo de Chomón specialized in surreal optical effects films. Working in France for Pathé, Chomón successfully combined miniatures and live-action, pioneered hand-tinted film and invented the "film dolly" which allowed complex tracking shots. As a director, he was known for his trick photography—for example, building one short (The Electric Hotel) around a suitcase that unpacked itself, and another (Les Kiriki) around a troupe of Japanese acrobats who perform impossible stunts. Later he provided the special effects work in important feature-length films such as Cabiria (1914) and Abel Gance's Napoleon.

PICTURE
winner: Le spectre rouge (prod. Pathé Frères)
nominees: Ben Hur (prod. Kalem Company); Le tunnel sous la manche ou Le cauchemar franco-anglais a.k.a. Tunneling the English Channel (prod. Georges Méliès)


DIRECTOR
winner: Segundo de Chomón and Ferdinand Zecca (Le spectre rouge)
nominees: Alice Guy (L'enfant de la barricade); Georges Méliès (Le tunnel sous la manche ou Le cauchemar franco-anglais a.k.a. Tunneling the English Channel)

2 comments:

Petro Neagu said...

These old movies could look a bit scary sometimes :)
You must really love them.

Mythical Monkey said...

Film-wise, "spectacle" was the order of the day in the first decade of the 20th century. And Segundo de Chomon was among those who was really out there.

It starts to settle down by 1909 or so.