A Trip to the Moon (5/9/12)

Trip to the MoonMovie One Hundred Thirteen

A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la lune) by the film pioneer Georges Méliès is likely his most famous work, and given a large new audience in the film Hugo.

Historically, the films of Méliès are hugely important to cinema. A Trip to the Moon is regarded as the first science-fiction film, in fact. Méliès was originally a magician who was charmed by film and decided to bridge his two talents into many (531 between 1896 and 1913, according to Wikipedia) films. To call him anything other than a genius would be wrong.

A Trip to the Moon itself is about a group of astronomers that launch a rocket to the moon. After landing in the eye of the man on the moon, they disembark. Soon the group is attacked by aliens. After a struggle, the group leaves the moon and travels back to Earth where they are celebrated. Don’t take my highly abbreviated version, please watch the film yourself if you haven’t already.

It’s worth noting that I watched a recently restored fully hand-tinted color version on Blu-Ray with a soundtrack by Air. While the film has been pieced together from several sources for maximum posterity, it is a bit rough in spots but still a remarkable achievement and a wonder to watch. It is also accompanied by a documentary about the film and the process, which I will write about separately sometime soon. With films like Hugo, technology like Blu-Ray, and the wonders of the Internet, I’m so pleased films like A Trip to the Moon are getting revisited.

I give this 5 man on the moon‘s out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


16 responses to “A Trip to the Moon (5/9/12)

  1. “A Trip To The Moon” is my favorite film short of all time, and I loved seeing it on Hugo, It’s incredibly well-shot and beautifully written. Great review.

  2. Nice review; it’s great that you can say so much for a film that is only ten minutes long. I watched it a few months ago, and I know I’m going to get some hate for my opinion: I thought that honestly, it wasn’t much more than an inspiration for a lot of our science fiction today. Which is excellent, because that means without this, we probably wouldn’t have Star Wars or Moon. Hell, we wouldn’t have 2001: A Space Odyssey! But as a film, it bored me, which is ironic because it’s only ten minutes long. I might’ve watched it during a fleeting moment, and I might’ve just wanted to get on to doing something else, so that might be the reason I disliked it. I might have to rewatch it. Thanks for sparking that intercomment epiphany.

  3. I am always amazed to see what they did with so little knowledge of cinema back then. It is hard to believe they were just inventing a lot of the techniques we are still using today.

  4. I’ve been wanting to see this recently restored color version with the Air soundtrack. It reminds me of the 1984 version of Metropolis from Giorgio Moroder. That was finally re-released on video last year and I found the re-envisioning to be quite effective. Thanks for reminding me about the Moon update.

    • The Air soundtrack is a bit jarring in some spots, but on a whole it works quite well thematically with the film. It’s a much better fit than some of Moroder’s choices for Metropolis, in my opinion. Hope you get a chance to see it and I look forward to reading your thoughts on it, Mark!

  5. Pingback: May Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

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