Time-lapse: Paranoia under Control

Onésime Horloger
R: Jean Durand. K: Paul Castenet. D: Ernest Bourbon, Gaston Modot. P: Gaumont. Fr 1912

“(…) the Onésime series expropriated cinematic trucs probably more than any other comic series. The best known, and perhaps most accomplished, of these films is Onésime horloger (1912), whose premise stipulates that Onésime cannot receive his inheritance from an uncle for twenty years. To overcome this obstacle, he reads an 1859 treatise on timepieces and constructs a special pneumatic clock that can accelerate time in his interest. (…) his magical clock, which is as responsible for his success as is any initiative on his part, permits him to tinker with and remake himself and his story – he can have his cake and eat it, too, perhaps repeatedly. And, as the product of another ‘magical’ apparatus, Onésime horloger itself epitomizes the cinema’s ability to do the same, serving up incompatible ingredients in a fantasy space of pleasurable consumption.”
Richard Abel: The Ciné Goes to Town. Berkeley/Los Angeles/London 1998, p. 406 f.