The Last Cartridges is a 1897 French short black-and-white silent drama film, directed by Georges Méliès, featuring a reenactment of the bombardment of a house at Bazeille on September 1st, 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War, which inspired the painting of the same name by Alphonse de Neuville.
A group of soldiers attempt to defend a derelict house, where a nun cares for their wounded, but the house is bombed as they fire the last of the rounds of ammunition they have gathered from the floor.
The film is, “a living reproduction of a painting,” according to Europa Film Treasues, “that was highly popular at the end of the 19th century,” although, “the decor of Méliès’ work strays a little from the painting,” “the characters’ final poses clearly re-enact the painting,” which “helped make the film a lasting success.” —Wikipedia
Georges Méliès (December 8, 1861 – January 21, 1938), full name Marie-Georges-Jean Méliès, was a French filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest cinema. He was very innovative in the use of special effects. He accidentally discovered the stop trick, or substitution, in 1896, and was one of the first filmmakers to use multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted color in his films. Because of his ability to seemingly manipulate and transform reality through cinematography, Méliès is sometimes referred to as the “Cinemagician.”
Méliès was born in Paris, where his family manufactured shoes. He had two older brothers, Henri and Gaston. Before making films, he was a stage magician at the Theatre Robert-Houdin. In 1895, he became interested in film after seeing a demonstration of the Lumière brothers’ camera. In 1897, he established a studio on a rooftop property in Montreuil. Actors performed in front of a painted… read more