The Christmas Dream (1900)
Original title: Le rêve de Noël
(Original) Le rêve de Noël
(Alternative) A Christmas Dream
(Alternative) The Story of Christmas
(USA, 1901) American Mutoscope & Biograph
(USA, 1901) Edison Manufacturing Company
(USA, 1901) Georges Méliès
(USA, 1901) S. Lubin
CategoriesAngels Beggar Bell Black and White Christmas Church Dance Dreams Fantasy Feast Gift Hymn Joy Short Silent Film St. Nicholas Symbolism Trick Film FantasyShortAngels, Beggar, Bell, Black and White, Christmas, Church, Dance, Dreams, Feast, Gift, Hymn, Joy, Silent Film, St. Nicholas, Symbolism, Trick Film
One of Méliès’s earlier films in the "féeries" genre of French film. Possibly inspired by a Paris stage production of the late 1890s.
From the Edison Calalog:
The entire story of Christmastide is here depicted. The scene opens in a large boudoir of an apparently wealthy man’s home. His children, assisted by their governess, are about to retire. Before lying down they hang up their stockings on the edge of the bed. The picture changes and night appears. We see the housetops of the town and angels are flying about depositing packages in each of the chimneys. Santa Claus is also busy and furnishes our little friends with numerous presents. Again a change in the picture and we see the corridor of the old village church. The sexton, an old grey haired man, stands by, while a number of lusty boys pull the rope attached to the great bell in the belfry. The bell tolling in the steeple bursts into view, after which the interior of the church is seen with the full choir accompanied by the organist and choir boys singing the Christmas hymn. Another change and the boudoir is again before us and the children are looking over their presents while their parents are receiving the congratulations of their friends who have come to visit them. The picture changes into that of the great dining hall with the guests sitting around the table and the beggar is brought in and given a place at the table. The conclusion of this beautiful subject is a pretty tableau. We cannot speak too highly of the dissolving effects of this film. One picture dissolves into the other and thus the story is continuous from beginning to the end. Artistically beautiful.
Source: Edison Catalog
|Beggar and Magician
This Méliès production is a Christmas film that is all over the place trying to give us a variety of Christmas scenes, both religious and secular. We have Santa Claus, angels, gifts, a feast, beggars, church, dances, hymn singing, joy, symbolisms, etc. all in a few scenes that shift between chaotic and peaceful multiple times. Seems like he wanted to catch all of the Christmas spirits in one film.