The Segundo de Chomón Collection

The Segundo de Chomón Collection honors the work of one of the greatest film pioneers and celebrates the birth of cinema as we know it.

Segundo Víctor Aurelio Chomón y Ruiz (17 October 1871, Teruel, Aragon – 2 May 1929) was a 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. He 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.

Many of his films have been lost; however, you can see many of them at The Internet Archive. The Segundo de Chomón Collection currently has sixty films for view, forever immortalized and saved from extinction. Gorgeous vintage films like Les Kiriki Acrobates Japonais (1907) shown below.

The body of work he created over five years was outstanding. Films such as Le Spectre Rouge, Kiriki Acrobates Japonais (shown above), Le Voleur Invisible and Une Excursion Incohérente are among the most imaginative and technically accomplished of their age; 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).

View our playlist of selected films below or The Segundo de Chomón Collection at The Internet Archive.

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