Going to Bed Under Difficulties

(Le Déshabillage impossible)

France 1900. Dir Georges Méliès.

Grotesque situations based entirely around clothes' rebellion and subversion were championed in this Georges Méliès' eccentric mise-en-scènes that combined elements of theatrical performance with cinematic editing methods. Here the "victims" were travellers in hotel rooms, also played by Méliès himself. In Going to Bed Under Difficulties clothes stubbornly refuse to leave their wearer. Their constant reappearance on the exasperated man’s body - a repetitive cycle that nevertheless does not repeat the clothes - and their subsequent removal and placement on hooks behind him is an amusing travesty, as well as an impressive showcase of commodities, in this case, a comprehensive gentleman’s wardrobe around 1900.

Museum of the Moving Image, New York Saturday 17 Mar 2007, 2:00 p.m.