Before the turn of the twentieth century, before the nickelodeon, even before the first cinemas, Georges Melies began making movies. Directing, editing, producing, designing, and starring in over 500 films between 1896 to 1912, Melies was also the first cinematic auteur. This is the first study of Melies's films to appear in English in over twenty years and the only book to interpret his work using the tools of modern film analysis. Locates the roots of modern narrative cinema in Melies's work, identifying techniques of editing and mise-en-scene previously thought to have originated with D. W. Griffith.
"By demonstrating the richness and coherence of this auteur's works, Ezra proves that even 'primitive' films can be illuminated by sensibly applied contemporary theory. This critical explication gives Ezra's study the edge..." -- "Choice"