Modern Sculptors (1908)
5min · Short · 12 April 1908
The first scene presents before the astonished eyes of the spectators a solid piece of marble, which the minute it is placed on a table seems to take life, and one can follow a snake-like line branding on the polished face of the stone the name of the house of Pathé Frères. As soon as this stone has been engraved, as by magic, a handsome young lady appears with a huge lump of clay covered with a cloth. As soon as the cloth is removed from the soft mass it starts whirling and turning as if stricken mad, and one is asking one's self what all the contentions are going to lead to, when the vague shape of an animal not yet discernible seems to appear, and before one has time to make one's mind as to the category of brutes to which it belongs one sees the form of a remarkably well made orang-outang modeled out of the clay, who calmly smokes his pipe. Then the statue is removed by the same winning young lady and another covered block of the same substance is carried forward, and we see the clay going through the same movements as those of one possessed by an evil spirit, end after a few comical jumps and leaps one has before one's astonished eyes the statue of a crocodile. Several other animals are thus produced, and then the collection of masterpieces being apparently sufficient, our young lady appears with a new surprise. She presents a covered frame, and as soon as the cloth is removed from the front we see what appears to be a beautiful engraving of Grecian wrestlers. All at once the figures take life and two of the combatants are seen grappling viciously with each other, until the defeat of one is assured by his falling on his back. Several other subjects are presented on the screen and all are a remarkable display of talent and wonder. The last scene is an exhibition of all the magic sculptor's handiwork. The statues previously seen are all exposed, forming an imposing collection, when an old shriveled-up dame comes to the table to examine the statues. A chair being at hand, she seats herself to admire more at leisure, when two huge hands seize the poor little piece of humanity and actually press and squash her up in a small lump of clay. The poor old creature seems to have paid the penalty of her life for her curiosity, when the two hands, thinking their punishment too severe, start remodeling what was once a living being, and behold, in a few deft turns and movements of the clumsy fingers, we see the little old woman back to life and apparently none the worse for her hard treatment, for she is seen toddling away again with a satisfied smile on her old wrinkled face.
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