Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Days of Melies - The Brahmin and the Butterfly [La chrysalide et le papillon d'or] (1901)

The film begins with a snake-charming (or more accurately, a giant caterpillar-charming) where the caterpillar enters the basket instead of vice-versa, foreshadowing the twist to come. With the arrival of the beautiful butterfly, the Brahmin then becomes powerless against her charms.

The emergence of the butterfly woman originated in a piece of stage magic by Buatier de Kolta that dates from 1885, making it very likely that Méliès witnessed a live performance of the work. 

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