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Les rayons Röntgen (1898)
Les rayons X
Summary: Not to be confused with the more popular X-Ray Fiend (George Albert Smith: 1897), this short film depicts a scientist who uses an x-ray machine to extract the skeleton out of a patient. After the skeleton is out of the mans body, with his skin lying on the floor, the skeleton begins to dance about the room! The doctor and the skeleton have a brief 'argument,' fallowed by the signature Méliès explosion to close the scene. Yes, it is very spooky.
Context: The x-ray machine was an invention by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen in 1895. At the point this film was made, x-ray technology was far from advanced and the audiences of the period could let their imaginations run wild. Though soon the x-ray would cease to be such a source of wonder and began it's use for only scientific endeavors.
Trivia: Special effects in this film are about period accurate, nothing you wouldn't expect if you're familiar with the era. The interesting part of the effects however is that this is said to be the first time Méliès had depicted a scientist being the victim of his own equipment exploding (witch I formerly referred to as his signature move).