A Lightning Sketch
|A Lightning Sketch|
|Directed by||Georges Méliès|
|20 meters/65 feet each|
A Lightning Sketch (French: Dessinateur) was a series of four 1896 French short silent films directed by Georges Méliès and released by his Star Film Company. Each film showed an artist—very probably Méliès himself—drawing a caricature of a notable political figure in less than a minute.
Three similar films were also made at about the same time, in August 1896, by the Anglo-American filmmaker J. Stuart Blackton, as a series called Blackton Sketches; Blackton would later make another film in the same vein, The Enchanted Drawing (1900). Méliès returned to sketching on film in his 1903 short The Untamable Whiskers, in which the process of drawing comic faces on a blackboard was undercranked so as to seem to occur with great speed. Numerous political caricatures by Méliès, presumably similar to those made in the A Lightning Sketch films, survive in the collection of the Centre national du cinéma.
The following table provides the number assigned to each film in the Star Film Company catalogues; the original English and French titles; and the subject of the drawing made in each film.
|#||English title||French title||Subject|
|37||A Lightning Sketch (Mr. Thiers)||Dessinateur express (M. Thiers)||Adolphe Thiers|
|57||A Lightning Sketch (Chamberlain)||Dessinateur (Chamberlain)||Joseph Chamberlain|
|61||A Lightning Sketch (H.M. Queen Victoria)||Dessinateur (Reine Victoria)||Queen Victoria|
|73||A Lightning Sketch (Von Bismarck)||Dessinateur (Von Bismarck)||Otto von Bismarck|
- Hammond, Paul (1974). Marvellous Méliès. London: Gordon Fraser. pp. 135–6. ISBN 0900406380.
- Malthête, Jacques; Mannoni, Laurent (2008), L'oeuvre de Georges Méliès, Paris: Éditions de La Martinière, p. 50, ISBN 9782732437323
- Frazer, John (1979), Artificially Arranged Scenes: The Films of Georges Méliès, Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., p. 136, ISBN 0816183686
- Release data from Malthête & Mannoni 2008, pp. 336–7; subject identification from Malthête & Mannoni 2008, p. 50.
- A Lightning Sketch (Mr. Thiers) on IMDb
- A Lightning Sketch (Chamberlain) on IMDb
- A Lightning Sketch (H.M. Queen Victoria) on IMDb
- A Lightning Sketch (Von Bismarck) on IMDb
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