Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Georges Melies Grave

George Melies is one of the more famous magician’s to grace my blog. Though he was not famous as famous as a magician as he was a pioneer filmmaker. You see George Melies is credited with being the father of special effects in relation to film.  His best known film is “A Trip To The Moon” which was made in 1902.

He started his foray into films when he attended an exhibition of the Lumiere Brothers Cinematograph, one of the very first movie projectors. Shortly after, Melies purchased a movie camera from the Lumiere Brothers and began making his own films. His studio was none other than the Theatre Robert-Houdin in Paris (Robert Houdin’s old Theatre that he sold to Melies).

Many of his early movies were actually his magic tricks recorded on film. But he added the use of his own special effects in the movies to make the magic even more spectacular. Melies eventually gave up film making and towards the end of his life was running a concession stand at a train station in Paris. It wasn’t until years later that the movie industry took note of Melies contributions and he is now an icon of movie magic.

His life was covered in a somewhat fictional way in the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret which I believe is being made into a movie.

The grave is located in Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise, in Paris France, Plot: Division 64

Update: I was made aware of an interesting little film staring magician Peter Snow called 'Searching for Melies'. In the film, Mr. Snow locates the grave of Melies while blindfolded. It's a short film and you get a number of good shots of Melies grave.

UPDATE: The photos are courtesy of Carnival of Illusion, aka Roland and Susan Sarlot.

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