[L'Alchimiste Parafaragaramus]



[L'Alchimiste Parafaragaramus ou la Cornue infernale]

The Mysterious Retort

A chemist, after consulting his books, decides that he is on the road to a new, great discovery. He places a large retort filled with water over a fire in his laboratory, and orders his assistant to ply the bellows energetically until told to cease. The chemist seats himself in a chair, waiting for the water to boil. While reposing at ease he dozes off and finally falls asleep, and has a wonderful dream. From a small door in the furnace upon which the retort rests there issues a large green reptile, with crocodile like head, and when this has dragged its entire length into the room it turns mysteriously into an imp. This emissary of the devil, after frolicking around the laboratory, places a large magnifying glass before the chemist, and causes him to look through it at the retort, which now grows to tremendous proportions. In it there suddenly appears an enormous spider’s web, but instead of the spider there is seen in the centre a huge, grimacing human face, which soon vanishes. The chemist gazes on stupefied; and as he does, there issues from the boiling water within the now gigantic retort the figure of Ceres bearing the cornucopia of plenty, from which she pours forth gold, while the bubbles of the boiling water can be seen at her feet. The chemist extends his arms toward her, but she disappears. Suddenly the steam begins to issue from the retort, and large crystal drops fall from the spout into a receptacle near by; when there is no more water left, there rises from the distillation an ethereal, transparent human form, which ascends in the air, disappearing as mysteriously at is came. Now the retort which was placed over the fire explodes from lack of attention, and the chemist awakes from his dream. His assistants rush to his aid, but the strain of the vision and the effects of his search for knowledge have been too much, and he falls to the ground. Now the oven bursts into a flare of fire, in the centre, of which sits enthroned the devil’s messenger, who descends majestically from his seat and places his foot triumphantly on the chest of the prostrate chemist.

MEL 1905-A


1 Méliès 874-876  
2 Georges Méliès   
3 1906 60m/200ft
4 France  


15/12/1906 États-UnisNew York
The New York Clipper  The Mysterious Retort