Silence Can Be Golden
Melies the Magician
Review by Ross Anthony

This DVD contains a documentary on this early innovative filmmaker, several of his short films (which were produced mainly for fairground vendors) and even small bits from other Silent Era legends (Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin etc.)

While some of Melies short films contain moments of magic (of the special feeling variety), many of the other moments are no longer very fascinating for audiences now used to color and sound. That said, I don't think this DVD was compiled for the average blockbusterian.

If you're a filmmaker, historian, lover of invention, etc., this DVD may hold some nuggets for you. Where else could you see such a compilation (I have no idea)? Though I haven't put together a reel in quite a long time, I used to be a filmmaker, so I found many of Melies creative techniques interesting, curious, even inspiring. But, aside for Melies actual footage, most of the visuals on this video are quite dry. Actually, I found Melies, himself, fascinating and enjoyed learning about him and his creativity, but the documentary itself doesn't shine with the enthusiasm of Melies.

That said, I'm glad I viewed it, I learned a great deal about the origin of film and the business of making money from art.

Melies was a turn of the century French filmmaker. Pundits praise him for inventing cinematic special effects that became the basic building blocks of much later works all they up to and including productions by Lucas and Spielberg.

So how to grade when the average film watcher will snooze in the first 3 minutes, while the film historian will salivate?

  • Melies the Magician. Copyright © 1997.
  • Directed by Jacques Malthete.
  • Produced at Societie Melies/Arte France Developpement/CNC. (c) 1997.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

Copyright © 1998-2019 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:03:23 PDT