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106 Year Old Film Found

IMDB reports via Studio Briefing that Cleopatre, a film by Georges Melies has been found after being lost for 106 years. The 2 minute piece filmed in 1899 is listed as a horror film. It's not stated in the report, but it seems likely that it was believed to be destroyed by Melies himself after being driven out of the film industry by larger French and American studios. The film has been authenticated by his surviving family.

Melies was present at the first public screening of the Lumiere brothers' films in 1895. One year later he produced "The Bewitched Inn" his first of 500 fillms he made in his 17 year film career. During that time he is credited with creating disolves, fade in's, and stop motion film effects. He considered the American market to be extremely important, a conceit that came back to bite him when he attracted the attention of Thomas Edison. Edison's agents nabbed a negative of "A Trip to the Moon," and distributed in the US without paying Melies a dime. These type of shady competitive practices led to his studio's decline. Luckily his reputation was restored before his death, and he was awarded Legion d'honneur in 1931.

It's fantastic to see this film appear after so long. Only if "Pluto Nash" could have been kept "lost" for 106 years. --Terrence Ryan


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Posted by on September 22, 2005 11:26 PM
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