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Georges Melies

Georges Melies

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Also Known As: Geo. Smile, Marie-Georges-Jean Melies Died: January 21, 1938
Born: December 8, 1861 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Paris, FR Profession: producer, director, actor, caricaturist, magician, puppeteer, mechanic, businessman, corporal

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One of the visionary pioneers of early cinema, director and independent producer Georges Méliès used his skills as an illusionist and theater owner to create the techniques of modern narrative filmmaking. Méliès was at the forefront of the motion picture business alongside other pioneers such as Thomas Edison and the Lumiére brothers. But unlike the latter, who favored a more documentary approach to filmmaking, Méliès tapped into his inner showman and created spectacles for the screen, which translated into large audiences and financial success. By accidentally inventing stop-motion photography, he used visual sleight of hand to replace one image with another, wowing audiences with the optical illusion. He used the technique to great effect with "The Vanishing Lady" (1896) and went on to create such memorable silent shorts as "The Astronomer's Dream" (1898), "The Temptation of Saint Anthony" (1898) and "Cleopatra" (1899), the earliest known example of a horror movie. Méliès achieved iconic status with "A Trip to the Moon" (1902), a 14-minute sci-fi adventure that featured the famed shot of a rocket ship landing in the Man on the Moon's eye - one of the most indelible images in cinema history. Though...

One of the visionary pioneers of early cinema, director and independent producer Georges Méliès used his skills as an illusionist and theater owner to create the techniques of modern narrative filmmaking. Méliès was at the forefront of the motion picture business alongside other pioneers such as Thomas Edison and the Lumiére brothers. But unlike the latter, who favored a more documentary approach to filmmaking, Méliès tapped into his inner showman and created spectacles for the screen, which translated into large audiences and financial success. By accidentally inventing stop-motion photography, he used visual sleight of hand to replace one image with another, wowing audiences with the optical illusion. He used the technique to great effect with "The Vanishing Lady" (1896) and went on to create such memorable silent shorts as "The Astronomer's Dream" (1898), "The Temptation of Saint Anthony" (1898) and "Cleopatra" (1899), the earliest known example of a horror movie. Méliès achieved iconic status with "A Trip to the Moon" (1902), a 14-minute sci-fi adventure that featured the famed shot of a rocket ship landing in the Man on the Moon's eye - one of the most indelible images in cinema history. Though he would go on to make notable films like "The Impossible Voyage" (1904) and "Conquest of the Pole" (1912), Méliès fell on hard times due to war and increased competition, leaving him poverty stricken. He rose to prominence toward the end of his life, however, as his stature as a pioneering filmmaker was returned in full.

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Education

Lycee Imperial: -
Ecole des Beaux Arts: -
Lycee Louis-le-Grand: - 1870 - 1880

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jehanne D'Alcy. Actor. Married in 1925.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Jean-Louis-Stanislas Melies. Shoe manufacturer.
mother:
Johanna-Catherine Melies. Dutch; met husband while working in a boot factory.
cousin:
Adolphe Melies. Newspaper publisher. Older.
brother:
Henry Melies. Businessman. Older.
brother:
Gaston Melies. Producer, supervisor.
nephew:
Paul Melies. Producer. Father Gaston.
daughter:
Georgette Melies. Theater manager.
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