In this spectacular free adaptation of the popular theatre play "La Biche au Bois", the valiant Prince Bel-Azor pursues a baleful old witch to her impregnable castle, to save the beautiful young Princess Azurine.
Aboard the futuristic flying machine of his own invention, Professor Mabouloff and his team of intercultural explorers set off on yet another impossible expedition to North Pole's vast landscapes. What wonders await the bold adventurers?
In this spectacular, meticulously hand-coloured movie which incorporates a plethora of never-seen-before special effects, interchanging panoramas and soft dissolves, the indefatigable director Georges Méliès presents a free adaptation of the popular theatre play "La Biche au Bois" by the brothers Cogniard. Following the announcement of the espousal of the beautiful young Princess Azurine and the noble Prince Bel-Azor, a baleful old witch casts a fiery and sulphurous curse on the innocent woman, and then aided by her evil minions, captures her and takes off on a blazing gilded chariot. But the valiant Prince along with the Fairy Godmother, Aurora, pursue the sorceress, from the unfathomable chasms of the eternal sea to great Neptune's realm, and finally, the abominable witch's impregnable castle. Who shall stand in the way of love?Written by
One of Melies' elaborate story productions, ranking with VOYAGE TO THE MOON, using camera tricks, sleight of hand, elaborate costumes and interesting model work. Technically it will look primitive to the modern eye -- the sets are clearly sets, the models clearly models -- but it is all done with Melies' verve and dedication. Certainly, the grotto and underwater sets are beautiful; he knew how to draw stonework.
Melies, I feel, remains the most accessible of the oldest directors, in large part because of the sheer sense of showmanship and joy that is evident in these works. His scenes, when they are not sleight-of-hand magic, are essentially tableaux, punctuated by acrobats. His tableaux are much more elaborate than other directors who use the form, providing a feast for the eye. Working, as he does in this movie, with familiar images, he elaborates them, whereas in VOYAGE TO THE MOON, he invents them and suggest them. The effect is -- there is no other word for it -- magical.
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