Le spectre rouge
The Red Spectre
Segundo de Chomón, Ferdinand Zecca
In his weird and wonderful burlesque film The Red Spectre, Segundo de Chomón creates a feast of spectacular optical illusions. A ghostly skeleton hypnotises young women and then plays bizarre tricks on them. Suddenly though a rival illusionist appears, intent on freeing the skeleton’s captives. A contest ensues, with the women ultimately winning out. An emancipatory early piece of cinema history. With live musical accompaniment by Gunda Gottschalk.
Segundo de Chomón
Segundo de Chomón (1871–1929) was a Spanish silent film director who specialised in optical illusions on camera. His technical mastery and artistic creativity shining throughout his prolific body of work made him a great film-maker of his time.
Ferdinand Zecca (1864–1947) was a French film pioneer. He directed numerous films for Pathé, including Histoire d’un crime (1901), the first ever crime film in cinematic history. He was also an actor and producer.