Task 2.3: Comparing tricks and effects by Michel Gondry and George Méliès

Michel Gondry, being an artistic director, has the absolute quality of converting the theatrical scenes and images he sees in his mind into tantalising moments of motion on screen. Gondry has a way of captivating one’s eye while watching his short clips, like the Air France Commercial (2007) where you could see the plain aligning itself with various actions performed by people. Similarly, George Mèliès short films include pictorial effect as those of Gondry. According to Thill (2006), Mèliès and Gondry films bring that feeling of wonders to their viewers and are not afraid of inventing visual singularity.

Despite the visual effect Mèliès and Gondry bring to their films, the obvious similarity between these two directors is the use of in-camera technique like substitution splicing, also known as stop motion. For instance, Ezra (2000) emphasised that: “Melies’ repertoire substitution splicing created the sudden appearance or disappearance of a person or object, or the sudden replacement of one thing by another. This technique was used in Melies’ film The Vanishing Lady (1986) Where a woman who is covered with a cloth will disappear when the cloth is removed and a skeleton appears. Likewise, Gondry uses in-camera effects during production and post-production to transform objects from one into another, and changes character setting from place to the other immediately.

In my opinion, despite Gondry’s work being inspired by that of Melies’, the way he uses his visual effect techniques and studio setup make his works separate and unique from Melies’.


Change Before Going Productions. (2011) The Vanishing Lady [media]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7-x93QagJU

Ezra, E. (2000). George Méliès, Machester & New York: Machester University Press. Retrieved from http://onlineres.swin.edu.au.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/497036.pdf

Michel Gondry. (2007) Air France Commercial [media]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmNztYfInOA

Thill, S. (2006). How my Brain Works: an interview with Michel Gondry. Retrieved from http://brightlightsfilm.com/brain-works-interview-michel-gondry/#.Vc1_plzuUas


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