‘Right in the Eye’ Film Concert

Huntsville’s Old Town Theatre presents “Right in the Eye” a movie-concert by Jean Francois Alcoléa based on several Georges Méliès films.

Méliès was a French illusionist and film director in early 1900s. His films led to many technical and narrative developments in early days of cinema that are still prevalent today. 

When Méliè’s films made their debuts, people became bored quickly and the films were lost. Alcoléa wanted to bring them back with composed music and sounds to narrate the films in a movie concert.

Alcoléa is a pianist, composer, improviser and scenographer. His shows consist of many visual aspects that help bring his music to life.

“The films I chose are not the most new, but they are the most interesting for me,” Alcoléa said. “They are a representation of Georges’ creativeness.”

The band used many different objects to make sounds to narrate the films. They used inexpensive objects such as wine glasses with water to more expensive instruments like the waterphone.  

“These films were a challenge because instead of making picture for music, we made music for picture,” Alcoléa said.

Alcoléa found his passion for the combination of music and film at a young age, but started taking it to the next level almost a decade ago.

“I started music when I was younger and started to work on my projects about 20 years ago,” Alcoléa said. “I started putting music to film eight years ago.”

Alcoléa picked up a mirror, set it on the staircase, picked up a smaller mirror and spun it on top of the bigger mirror to make a sound effect of spinning. Creativity is all there is to it, according to Alcoléa.

Alcoléa and his crew toured around Europe and are now bringing their concert to North America. Old Town Theatre is one of just eight theaters in the United States to host this performance.

“We developed this project in 2013,” Alcoléa said. “We worked on it for one and a half years and worked on making it fit all together for two months.”

They showed several of Méliès’ films including “The Four Troublesome Heads” (1898), “A Trip to the Moon” (1902) and “The Kingdom of the Fairies” (1903).

“The films had a lot of special effects,” attendee Audra Whitaker said. “Of course, in 1903, special effects are watching pictures move.”

“Right in the Eye” was creatively intelligent. All the sounds and music brought Georges Méliès’ films to life. Alcoléa helped showcase the talent and imagination that Méliès put in to each film he created.

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