George Méliès

film 47 of 70

The Damnation of Faust

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 19, 2015

Those first two shots are kind of close ups, or at least medium shots, and the characters cross the frame obliquely, dynamically. Which is to say, cinematically. The parade of flats and drops as we descend to the infernal depths outdoes even The Kingdom of the Fairies (q.v.). And that is saying something!

These ballerinas are basically gratuitous. Not inappropriate, but basically, wonderfully unnecessary. This descending shot is new! The frame is blocked out except for a vertical column in the middle. Superb! The fall it describes isn’t perfectly-framed, quite. Excellent try! The trick cut just before that actor turns into that dummy is really seamless. The final homage to the his Satanic Majesty isn’t very convincing. I don’t know about you, but I love to have my children watch this kind of diablerie.

As it is almost asking me to report it, I feel to add that the narration wants us to notice how cool those wings are.