Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants
|Le Voyage de Gulliver à Lilliput et chez les géants|
|Directed by||Georges Méliès|
|Written by||Jonathan Swift|
Le Voyage de Gulliver à Lilliput et chez les Géants, released in the United States as Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants and in the United Kingdom as Gulliver's Travels—In the land of the Lilliputians and the Giants, is a 1902 French short silent film directed by Georges Méliès, based on Jonathan Swift's 1726 novel Gulliver's Travels.
Méliès himself plays Gulliver in the film. The visual differences of scale between Gulliver and the countries he visits were created using multiple exposures and miniature models; Méliès uses substitution splices and careful exposure design to merge the various elements and give them a sense of apparently seamless action. Some scenes were filmed outdoors, in Méliès's garden in Montreuil, Seine-Saint-Denis, so that the camera could be far away enough from the Lilliputians to make them look small.
Release and legacy
Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants was released by Méliès's Star Film Company and is numbered 426–429 in its catalogues. In early 1903, the Edison Manufacturing Company sold duplicated prints of Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants, as well as of Méliès's other films Joan of Arc and Robinson Crusoe, in the United States. Siegmund Lubin also advertised a Gulliver's Travels film in 1903; this may have been an attempt by Lubin to ride on the popularity of Méliès's version.
In 1988, Jean-Pierre Mocky directed Gulliver, a three-minute remake of Méliès's film, as part of the TF1 television program Méliès 88. At the time, the film was one of 158 Méliès films presumed lost, but for which written scenarios survived; Mocky based his remake on Méliès's original scenario, but used a style and tone markedly different from Méliès's works.
A stencil-colored print of the film is held at the Cineteca di Milano. It is unknown whether Méliès authorized the coloring, as the stencil process is highly unusual in his oeuvre; normally, his films were colored using an entirely freehand method supervised by the colorist Elisabeth Thuillier.
In their study of film adaptations of British literature, Gregory M. Colón Semenza and Robert J. Hasenfratz called Gulliver's Travels Among the Lilliputians and the Giants a "gorgeous film" that "remains very watchable due to its sheer imaginative and visual invention".
- Malthête, Jacques; Mannoni, Laurent (2008), L'oeuvre de Georges Méliès, Paris: Éditions de La Martinière, p. 345, ISBN 9782732437323
- Malthête & Mannoni 2008, p. 134
- Semenza, Gregory M. Colón; Hasenfratz, Robert J. (2015), The History of British Literature on Film, 1895–2015, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 61–2
- Musser, Charles (1991), Before the Nickelodeon: Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company, Berkeley: University of California Press, p. 238, ISBN 0520060806
- Sadoul, Georges; Morris, Peter (1972). Dictionary of Films. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 251.
- "Gulliver", Jean-Pierre Mocky : le site officiel, retrieved 23 August 2015
- Malthête, Jacques (2013), "Un nitrate composite en couleurs : le Voyage dans la Lune de Georges Méliès, reconstitué en 1929", 1895, 71, doi:10.4000/1895.4784, retrieved 2 January 2017
- Yumibe, Joshua (2012), Moving Color: Early Film, Mass Culture, Modernism, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, pp. 48, 75