L’homme orchestre (1900)
Director: Georges MÃ©liÃ¨s
Cast: Georges MÃ©liÃ¨s
Synopsis: A band-leader assembles an orchestra by mystifying means.
One of Melies’ better movies, L’homme orchestra sees him playing a musician who replicates himself no less than six times to create an orchestra of clones. The septet plays energetically for a while before each man sits on the lap of the man next to him, eventually merging into just the one body. The trick is performed with some professionalism, and it’s noticeable just how well each Melies interacts with the clone either side of him. Usually, even in recent movies, the same character appearing on screen more than once never looks properly co-ordinated so that they never look like they’re really standing next to each other, but Melies pulls off the trick with aplomb. For some reason, though, he decides to finish off the movie with some of his more conventional tricks, making himself and the chairs on which he and his fellow musicians had sat appear and disappear. Despite his undeniable talents, sometimes one minute was just too long for Melies…
(Reviewed 25th August 2014)