Excelsior really was the prince of magicians. His trickery touched the limits of the temporal world. In matters of speed and sleight of hand, a more accomplished artist could not be imagined.
That is what we see in Excelsior!: a talented man, manipulating his environment to an astonishing degree. The film is brief—only two minutes; and old—dating to nearly the dawn of the medium. It shows us Excelsior, delivering a stage show, with an assistant who doubles as his chief prop.
The magician is played by Georges Méliès, the French cartoonist, theatre owner and (yes) stage magician, turned filmmaker.