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Melies magic comes to Film Archive this Friday

The name of film pioneer and magician Georges Melies is often equated with adjectives like magical, imaginative and comical. He created numerous cinematic effects and his inventiveness, humour and ability to amaze have survived the test of time.

Audiences have a special treat in store from Friday to Sunday (February 13 to 15). Two descendants of Melies, Marie-Helene Leherissey-Melies and her son Lawrence Leherissey, will act as moderator and pianist respectively for a special Hong Kong screening of Melies' films.

The French classics are the second instalment of the "Early European Cinema" series presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Amusing shorts by Melies and Auguste and Louis Lumiere together with a series of rare French silent movies, will be showcased at the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) from February 13 to March 14.

"Melies' Magic" (I & II) is a selection of shorts, including the famous fantasy film, "A Trip to the Moon"; his first one-minute film, "A Card Game"; the hilarious "Up to Date Surgery"; the imaginative "Mermaid"; and his last production, "Conquest of the Pole".

Cinema began with the Lumiere brothers' first public screening in Paris on December 28, 1895. Some of their earliest cinematic images will be shown as a special tribute in "The Lumiere Selection".

Other classics include Alexandre Volkoff's "Casanova"; Jacques Feyder's silent version of "Carmen"; Jean Renoir's "Nana"; Rene Clair's "The Italian Straw Hat"; "The Late Mathias Pascal" by Marcel L'Hebier; "The Red Inn" by Jean Epstein; "The Devil in the Town" by Germaine Dulac; "Vendemiaire" by Louis Feuillade; "I Accuse" by Abel Gance; and "The Flood" by avant-garde director Louis Delluc.

All screenings have live music accompaniment and English title cards, except "The Lumiere Selection".

Tickets priced at $50 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. There will be a 10% discount for each purchase of six to 10 tickets and a 20% discount for each purchase of 11 or more tickets.

For programme information call 2739 2139, 2734 2900 or visit or . Reservations can be made by phone on 2734 9009 or on the Internet at .

Ends/Thursday, February 12, 2004
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