Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Golden Beetle- magic to the highest level of mastery!

     I am quite astonished by the overall masterpeice "Golden Beetle." Ferdinand Zecca is an other-worldly genius.  I couldn't help but marvel with my jaw-dropped as I watched the magician cause things to float and to appear out of thin air! Did Ferdinand Zecca devise a way to hoax us into the belief that what we are seeing is actually there, or could it be that this magician is truly a mastermind of power?
     The explosions are quite beautiful and fantastical.  It is utterly riveting and revelatory to see the use of color on screen.  This attribute of color helps to characterize the whole film as one of sheer creativity and magic.  I notably fancied the use of color during the section of the film where smoke, sparks, and water spew from the fountain.  The bright pinks, yellows, oranges and reds certainly cause the movie to baffle my mind.
     After the section in the film where the girl stops spinning around within the confinement of bright colors, two more girls materialize.  I am honestly stumped by how this sort of thing could come to be.  It is frankly amazing for one girl to appear floating in the air, but lo and behold Mr. Zecca finds a way to entrance the crowd into a state of utter awe.
     Furthermore, I can't help but ponder: how were these magic tricks and stunts done without injuring the participants? Surely placing a woman into a vase of fire is dangerous! Yet again, Mr. Zecca understands the fundamentals of stretching the limits of imagination.

     At the time of the release of this film, not many people had been exposed to special effects, let alone informed about their existence.  I feel as though any person from this time period, even if they had seen, for instance, a Melies film, would be astonished by some of the effects pulled off by Ferdinand Zecca.  Additionally, this film provides many examples of various effects: for example, not only does the film have floating girls, but additionally it intertwines the sporadic appearences of smoke.  I think that during the time this film was made, people were not very accustomed to so many random elements being placed in succession to one another within the confinement of one individual film.
    Additionally, not many films of this time had color (due to many factors, one of which being the fact that the process of hand painting color on to film is time intensive).  Because of this, I think that any average person would be excited to see such amazing special effects complied with the innovation of color.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting point that how many different effects he put into the one film. It's true that those very first few films typically exploited just one effect (like things disappearing and reappearing) and it was probably quite a spectacle when films then began to throw everything into the mix. It's also interesting that though the film is just one shot technically it does feel like a very fast-paced and story filled film because of all that goes on. I hadn't thought about that before I read your post. Good job both on your post and in explaining your reasoning behind your writing.