Georges Méliès, Musician

R: Georges Méliès. D: Georges Méliès. P: Star-Film. Fr 1900

Le mélomane
R: Georges Méliès. D: Georges Méliès. P: Star-Film. Fr 1903
Sound Design:

“Although there’s nothing in Le mélomane that we haven’t seen before from Méliès  —  particularly in Un homme de tetes and L’homme orchestre  —  the inventive manner in which he renews these tricks gives the film enormous charm, and we can only wonder how Méliès consistently came up with new and entertaining ways to demonstrate the same tricks over and over. Le mélomane boasts some of Méliès’ most accomplished trick shots, particularly in the way he throws his disembodied heads into the telegraph wires and the way in which those heads appear to dart around the screen before flying off at the film’s end.
It’s worth noting that the positioning of his disembodied heads in the wires forms the opening notes to the British National Anthem (My Country, Tis of Thee, to our American cousins), which suggests Méliès might have been pandering to these markets (sheet music was still popular at the turn of the 20th Century, so audiences back then were much more likely to recognise the tune). Of course, the irony is that Le mélomane is a silent musical, although it’s probable that the film would have been accompanied by live music in many theatres. This inventiveness on the part of Méliès makes all the more puzzling his inability to adapt to the changing taste in movies — a flaw which would eventually force him out of the business entirely.”
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