Segundo de Chomón  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Segundo Víctor Aurelio Chomón y Ruiz (17 October 1871, Teruel, Aragon - 2 May 1929) was a pioneering Spanish film director. He produced many short films in France while working for Pathé Frères and has been compared to Georges Méliès, due to his frequent camera tricks and optical illusions. Segundo de Chomón (1871-1929) became involved in film through his wife, who was an actress in Pathé films. In 1902 he became a concessionary for Pathé in Barcelona, distributing its product in Spanish-speaking countries, and managing a factory for the colouring of Pathé films. He began shooting actuality films of Spanish locations for the company, then 1905 moved to Paris where he became a trick film specialist. The body of work he created over five years was outstanding. Films such as Le Spectre Rouge, Kiriki – Acrobates Japonais, Le Voleur Invisible and Une Excursion Incohérente are among the most imaginative and technically accomplished of their age. De Chomón created fantastical narratives embellished with ingenious effects, gorgeous colour, innovative hand-drawn and puppet animation, tricks of the eye that surprise and delight, and startling turns of surreal imagination (see, for example, the worms that crawl out of a chocolate cake in Une Excursion Incohérente, one of a number of films where visitors or tourists are beset by nightmarish haunted buildings, a favourite de Chomón theme).

It is curious why he is not generally known as one of the early cinema masters, except among the cognoscenti in the field. Perhaps it is because there is a smaller body of work than that created by Georges Méliès (his works can perhaps be described as a cross between that of Méliès and another who combined trickery with animation, Emile Cohl); perhaps it is because he was a Spaniard working in France for the key part of his film career that has meant that neither side has championed him as much as they might have done. De Chomón carried on as a filmmaker, specialising in trick effects, working for Pathé, Itala and others, and contributing effect work to two of the most notable films of the silent era, Pastrone’s Cabiria (1914) and Abel Gance’s Napoléon (1927).

Selected filmography

  • 1902: Choque de trenes, Monserrat.
  • 1903: Pulgarcito, Gulliver en el país de los Gigantes.
  • 1905: Eclipse de sol, Los guapos del Parque, La gallina de los huevos de oro, dirigida por Albert Capellani.
  • 1906: El hijo del diablo (1906), dir. Lépine. Excursión a la luna, dirigida por Ferdinand Zecca.
  • 1907: Vida y pasión de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo y El pescador de perlas, filmes de Ferdinand Zecca. La casa encantada, Satán se divierte, Les ombres chinoises, La Légende du Fantôme, Le Chevalier mystère, Voyage à la planète Jupiter.
  • 1908: El Hotel eléctrico, Alarde equilibrista, El escultor moderno, El castillo encantado, El teatro eléctrico de Bob, Mars, Cuisine magnétique, La Table magique, Transformation élastique.
  • 1909: El sueño de un cocinero, Una excursión incoherente, Les Jouets vivants, Voyage au centre de la terre, Voyage dans la lune.
  • 1910: Amor Gitano, La expiación, El puente de la muerte, Venganza de un carbonero, La fecha de Pepín, La fatalidad, El ejemplo, Pragmática real, Justicias del rey don Pedro, La manta del caballo, La hija del guardacostas, La gratitud de las flores o Flores y perlas, Los guapos, El puñao de rosas, Las carceleras, La tempranica, El pobre Valbuena, Lucha fratricida o Nobleza Aragonesa, Los pobres de levita, Los dulces de Arturo, Una farsa de Colás, Flema inglesa, Gerona: la Venecia española, La heroica Zaragoza.
  • 1911: Pulgarcito
  • 1912: El talismán del vagabundo, Soñar despierto, El gusano solitario (film de André Deed). Padre, de Giovanni Pastrone (Itala Films).
  • 1913: Tigre reale (Italy) directed by Giovanni Pastrone.
  • 1914: Cabiria (Italy) directed by Giovanni Pastrone.
  • 1915: El fuego
  • 1916: Tigre real
  • 1917: La guerra e il sogno di Momi (Italy) directed with Giovanni Pastrone.
  • 1919: Hedda Gabler.
  • 1926: El negro que tenía el alma blanca (Spain), by Benito Perojo
  • 1927: Napoleon (France), by Abel Gance.

Bibliography

  • Template:Es SÁNCHEZ VIDAL, Agustín, Realizadores aragoneses, Zaragoza, Caja de Ahorros de la Inmaculada-Edelvives, 1999. ISBN 84-95306-22-0
  • Template:Es SÁNCHEZ VIDAL, Agustín, El cine de Chomón, Zaragoza, Caja de Ahorros de la Inmaculada, 1992.
  • Template:Es Juan Gabriel Tharrats, Los 500 filmes de Segundo de Chomón, Universidad de Zaragoza, Prensas Universitarias, 1988.
  • Template:Es Juan Gabriel Tharrats, Inolvidable Chomón, Filmoteca regional de Murcia, 1990, 59 p.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Segundo de Chomón" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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