After the immersive exhibition ‘The Fantastic and Wonderful World of Bosch, Bruegel, and Arcimboldo’, there is a screening of ‘Georges Méliès: the Cinemagician’, a shorter show that uses all the artistic and technological potential of the AMIEX® concept. Made by Cosmo AV from images and film extracts, it was produced with the assistance of the Association Cinémathèque Méliès.
The short six-minute film pays tribute to Georges Méliès (1861–1938), a pioneering film-maker and the father of special effects. A contemporary of the Lumière brothers, the illusionist recognised the future potential of their cinématographe (an early moving image projector) and was one of the first to use it for artistic purposes. He made over six hundred films that explored fantastical and fantasy worlds with the help of many special effects.
In this voyage of discovery into Méliès’ poetic and surrealist world, the spectators in the Carrières de Lumières discover his workshop, a veritable hotchpotch of bits and bobs where the craziest dreams take shape, climb aboard a space rocket, land on the moon, explore the North Pole, plunge into the abysses, get lost in the centre of the earth, journey right into the caves of Hell, and so on. During this magical journey, they encounter monsters and fantastical creatures and travel through ever-changing landscapes created by Méliès. This reveals all the inventiveness of this master of illusion, who hails his audience at the end of the show.
Extracts from some of his most well-known films (such as A Trip to the Moon, Conquest of the North Pole, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea), emblematic creations in his oeuvre (such as his famous moon), film screenshots and family photos, and portraits of Méliès are projected onto the walls of the Carrières de Lumières. This reveals all the genius of a man who so successfully empowered art with technology.