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The Pillar of Fire 1899

  • Georges Méliès
  • January 1, 1899
  • 1 mins
  • French
  • Fantasy
A devil wearing bat-like wings and brandishing a trident dances around a giant pot, conjuring forth flame from his trident to lit a fire beneath the pot. After the devil works the fire with bellows, an angelic woman emerges from the pot. The devil and the pot vanish as the woman performs a dance, waving about her diaphanous sleeves until she conjures forth another fire, then she rises amongst the smoke into the air.

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Great use of colour and atmosphere.

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Of the 531 films Melies made, we've only got about 200. What happened to the rest? The French Army melted them down in 1917 to make Army boots. And the rest, Melies himself burned the negatives in a fit of rage. And when I watch this - just a single minute - thinking about that level of loss makes me sad.

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