|The Pillar of Fire|
|Directed by||Georges Méliès|
The Pillar of Fire (French: Danse du feu), initially released in America and Britain as Haggard's "She"—The Pillar of Fire and also known as La Colonne de feu, is an 1899 short silent trick film directed by Georges Méliès.
A devil cavorts in a large fireplace, kindling a fire. Out of a giant skillet rises a young woman in voluminous white robes. As smoke rises in the fireplace, the woman begins a serpentine dance. Her skirts take on the appearance of flames until, finally, she disappears in a burst of fire.
The Pillar of Fire was the first film to be based on H. Rider Haggard's 1887 novel She: A History of Adventure. Rather than attempting to tell the whole story of the novel, Méliès used one of its characters as inspiration for a trick film, recalling the scene in the novel in which Ayesha stands amid flames. At least six other adaptations of She were made in the silent era.
The film was released by Méliès's Star Film Company and is numbered 188 in its catalogues. While the film was marketed in America and Britain as Haggard's She, emphasizing the connection with the popular novel, it was offered simply as Danse du feu in France, with no mention of Haggard.
Like many of Méliès's films, The Pillar of Fire was offered in a hand-colored print with coloring designed and directed by Elisabeth Thuillier. The surviving hand-colored print of the film is an ornate example of Thuillier's work for Méliès.
- Malthête, Jacques; Mannoni, Laurent (2008), L'oeuvre de Georges Méliès, Paris: Éditions de La Martinière, p. 340, ISBN 9782732437323
- Pitts, Michael R. (2015), RKO Radio Pictures Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1929–1956, Jefferson, NC: McFarland, p. 284
- Yumibe, Joshua (2012), Moving Color: Early Film, Mass Culture, Modernism, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, p. 72
- Costa, Antonio (1997), "Pour une interprétation iconologique du cinéma de Méliès: 'vues dites à transformations' et trucages", in Malthête, Jacques; Marie, Michel (eds.), Georges Méliès, l'illusionniste fin de siècle?: actes du colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle, 13–22 août 1996, Paris: Presses de la Sorbonne nouvelle, p. 170
- Etherington, Norman (1991), "Critical Introduction", The Annotated She: A Critical Edition of H. Rider Haggard's Victorian Romance with Introduction and Notes, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, p. xxxvii
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