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Dreaming Up the Devil

L’Alchemiste Parafaragamus ou la cornue infernale (The Mysterious Retort)

Georges Méliès, Star-Film, France, 1906

When an alchemist falls asleep in his laboratory, he dreams up a devil from the churning cauldron of his own thoughts (left). In turn, the devil conjures up further images from the scientist’s repressed imagination, including a white-robed ghost (right) and (from within the laboratory vessel itself) a giant spider and a beautiful but inaccessible woman.

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