Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lost and Found: Cleopatra (1899)

The Story
Georges Melies is a big name in the name of cinema, even if many of us don't know the name.  His most famous film is A Trip to the Moon (translated from French), which features the iconic image of the moon with a rocket in it's 'eye.'  The man made roughly five-hundred films during his hey-day, although only 170 or so are currently in possession.  In 1899, he made Cleopatra, a two-minute short film about the Queen coming back to life as a mummy.  Sadly, like most of his films, it vanished into obscurity...
Was It Found?
Yes.  After over one-hundred years, the film resurfaced in, where else, France.  In 2005, a secret storeroom was opened and the film was discovered.  How many secret film storerooms are there?  We need to check all of them, people!
This is one of the first horror films ever made, even if it is only two minutes long.  As far as technical achievements of its time, it's up there.  While not as famous as A Trip to the Moon, it is nearly as significant.  Because he was pioneering the use of special effects and helping create theatrical genres, all of Melies works are of great importance- even the ones that vanished for 100 years.

Next up, an 88 year-old Disney film disappears into the void.  Will someone find the poor Ms. Hood?  Stay tuned...

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