Friday, May 9, 2014

A Trip to the Moon (1902)

Original French Title: Le Voyage dans la Lune

Director: Georges Melies

Summary (With spoilers, yes, but come on - it's a 15-minute film from 1902):

A group of scientists construct a spaceship and launch themselves to the moon to study it. There, they find savage, warlike humanoid creatures that first capture them, and then pursue them after they escape. The Earth scientists reach their spacecraft successfully, and they launch themselves back to Earth.

Upon their triumphant return, they are greeted with heroes welcomes, and much dancing and celebration ensues.

What'd I Think?

If you think there's much more the story than you read in the summary, think again. This film is only about 15 minutes long, but it is considered one of the greatest of very early silent films. Some call it the very first science fiction film, while others merely laud its creativity.

Me? I think it is very impressive to see just what Melies was able to do so long ago, when no one else had really attempted to use film to tell such fantastic tales. The effects are impressive, when you take into account how long ago the film was made.

Still, if you're not into film history or tracing the origins of cinematic special effects, then this one may just bore you. Then again, it is only 15 minutes long, so you're not really losing much.

Here's the whole thing (don't worry - the film is public domain, so there's no piracy involved for you moralists out there):

*This film was one of the 1,179 movies listed as "Films to See Before You Die," a list that I'm attempting to work through within the next decade or so. This was #510. Only 669 to go.