ponedjeljak, 11. ožujka 2013.

Segundo de Chomón - Barcelone, Parc au Crépuscule (1904)

Načelo prema kojemu su nepoznati autori u nekom području najčešće bolji od poznatih i ovdje se potvrđuje. Ok, Méliès je s pravom slavan, no zašto nitko ne zna za Segunda de Chomóna? Njegovi luckasti filmovi iz ranih 1900-ih izgledaju kao da su preteče i Tarkovskog (dugi kadar s pomičnom kamerom) i Švankmajera (bizarne animacije). Više su ga zanimali nadrealni "trikovi" nego "umjetnost".


Bob's Electric Theatre (1906):

Barcelone, Parc au Crépuscule (1904)


Known as the "Spanish Méliès," Segundo de Chomón specialized in surreal optical effects films. Working in France for Pathé, Chomón successfully combined miniatures and live-action, pioneered hand-tinted film and invented the "film dolly" which allowed complex tracking shots. As a director, he was known for his trick photography—for example, building one short (The Electric Hotel) around a suitcase that unpacked itself, and another (Les Kiriki) around a troupe of Japanese acrobats who perform impossible stunts. Later he provided the special effects work in important feature-length films such as Cabiria (1914) and Abel Gance's Napoleon. - mythicalmonkey.blogspot.com 






Segundo de Chomón was a pioneer in the world of cinema. It is totally impossible to label him. He not only developed a filmmaking career but he was also an inventor, an entertainer and a technician. Multifaceted and innovative, this lively Aragonese left his mark in cinema filmings of Catalonia, Spain, France and Italy.
Segundo de Chomón y Ruiz (Teruel, 1871 - Paris, 1929) was from Aragon. However, his lively spirit drove him to leave his homeland and work in Paris, Torino and Barcelona. Tracing his career, though, is no mean task. Like in other biographies from silent movies, there are inaccuracies, black holes and ambiguities.
He arrived in Paris at a very early age and, once there, he had two encounters that would end up marking his life. On the one hand, he discovered the cinematographer, on the other, he met actress Julienne Mathieu, who would later be his wife. Probably it was her, who worked colouring films, who introduced him into the world of cinema.
The question is that the Chomón moved to Barcelona in the late 20th century to set up a small cinema workshop, where they coloured films and shot views of Barcelona or Montserrat for the French production company Pathé. From 1903, Chomón started shooting the first fiction short films like ‘L’hereu de can Pruna’ [The Pruna’s heir] (1904), which anticipated the humour of ‘Seven Chances’ (1925) by Buster Keaton.
In 1905 he returned to Paris, and spent there his peak years. He developed a series of pioneering techniques that turned him into the king of special effects: tricks, colouring, animation with the stop-action technique (precursor of ‘stop-motion’ or ‘frame-by-frame’), etc. His lively mind never stopped creating. He is even credited for inventing the first artefact designed specifically to shoot travellings. All these resources were implemented when shooting any of his most popular films like ‘Electric Hotel’ (1908). In this film, Chomón used a whole selection of tricks and special effects to make believable the story of a hotel where the objects come to life.
In 1910, Chomón went back to Barcelona and founded their own firm in tandem with Joan Fuster. Despite his enormous production and his efforts to adapt to new cinema trends, which prioritized the construction of the storyline over tricks, the company ended up being such a spectacular failure that there is no filming available.
Chomón had to work again for Pathé until 1912, when he left for Torino with a contract for Itala Film, the main production company in Italy’s rising silent cinema. In this Italian city he collaborated as a director of photography and as the special effects specialist of, among other films, a series starred in by Maciste, and ‘Cabiria’ (1914), a blockbuster similar to ‘Titanic’ or ‘Avatar’ of the time.
At the end of his career, he participated in a great film: ‘Napoleó’ [Napoleon] (1926), by the French filmmaker Abel Gance, who took the opportunity to use Chomón’s expertise to test an industrial colouring technique, known as the Keller-Dorian system. Chomón’s last work was in the Spanish and French co-production ‘El negro que tenía el alma blanca’ [The black man with the white soul] (1926), by Benito Perojo, a film which he contributed with the dream-like sequence. He continued experimenting with the Keller-Dorian technique in a shooting in Morocco, where he fell ill and never recovered completely. He died in Paris in 1929, a time when the cinema was facing up to a new challenge: sound.

Les Kiriki - Acrobates japonais by Segundo de Chomón

Segundo Víctor Aurelio Chomón y Ruiz (17 October 1871, Teruel, Aragon - 2 May 1929) was a pioneering Spanish film director. He produced many short films in France while working for Pathé Frères and has been compared to Georges Méliès, due to his frequent camera tricks and optical illusions. He became involved in film through his wife, who was an actress in Pathé films. In 1902 he became a concessionary for Pathé in Barcelona, distributing its product in Spanish-speaking countries, and managing a factory for the colouring of Pathé films. He began shooting actuality films of Spanish locations for the company, then 1905 moved to Paris where he became a trick film specialist.

The body of work he created over five years was outstanding. Films such as Le Spectre Rouge, Kiriki Acrobates Japonais, Le Voleur Invisible and Une Excursion Incohérente are among the most imaginative and technically accomplished of their age; fantastical narratives embellished with ingenious effects, gorgeous colour, innovative hand-drawn and puppet animation, tricks of the eye that surprise and delight, and startling turns of surreal imagination (see, for example, the worms that crawl out of a chocolate cake in Une Excursion Incohérente, one of a number of films where visitors or tourists are beset by nightmarish haunted buildings, a favourite de Chomón theme). - Wikipedia

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