A previously believed lost film by cinema pioneer Georges Méliès has been discovered in the Czech national film archives.
Titled Match Fe Prestidigitation or Conjuring Contest, the two minute film from 1904 was discovered on a reel of short films anonymously donated to the archives. The reel had been mislabeled with the title of another Méliès film.
According to archives spokeswoman Jana Ulipova –
The reel was titled ‘Les Transmutations Imperceptibles’, which is the name of another work by Méliès. But our specialist immediately realized it was another film… Based on detailed analysis and research at the national library of France, among other places, we can say with certainty that it is Match de Prestidigitation, up to now considered lost.
The film features a stage magician who splits in two who then proceed to take turns performing magic tricks before merging back into one person.
Méliès was himself a stage magician before he discovered the burgeoning art of filmmaking. Between the years of 1896 and 1913 he made over 500 short films that are now regarded as not only helping define the language of cinema but for pioneering the art of special visual effects. His most famous work is 1902’s Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon).
Via The Guardian