03 August 2008

A Trip to the Moon (1902)

d. Georges Méliès / France / 8 mins.
Alt: "Le Voyage dans la Lune."

Doesn't it make sense that most of the earliest films were either short documentaries or science fiction? At the time it must have seemed strange and futuristic to watch a moving narrative projected on a white drawn canvas, and after the early filmmakers established the basic technology to record everyday actions, it's no surprise some immediately began to dream big. Georges Méliès's A Trip to the Moon is the most famous of those early short films, and for good reason: it's fully realized, wildly imaginative, and possibly cinema's first true achievement. Unlike most early films – which we value solely for their historical relevance – Méliès's work provides a slight amount of curious entertainment. Frequently cited as the first sci-fi, and also entertaining in spite of its (extremely) nascent production quality, the film's plot is exactly what its title says: scientists travel to the moon via a bullet-shaped pod fired out of a gigantic cannon, resulting in that infamous shot of an anthropomorphic moon face getting hit right in the eye. No one goes into this film looking to be enlightened by science, and it's fair to have a good laugh on our early conceptions of space travel as long as you don't miss the fact that Méliès was actually poking fun at science himself. Because of its placement in the history of film and because of its trippy and expressionistic art design, it's definitely worth a look.


  © 2008-2010 Screen Savour. Licensed under Creative Commons.

  Template © ourblogtemplates.com

Back to TOP