A Trip To The Moon
France, 14 Min., Silent, B&W
Director: Georges Melies
Producer: Georges Melies
Screenplay: Georges Melies, from the novel by Jules Verne
Cast: Victor Andre, Bleuette Bernon, Brunnet, Jeanne d’Alcy, Henri Delannoy, Depierre, Farjaut, Kelm, Georges Melies
Georges Melies mastery is on full display here. It is hard to imagine that he was able to create such lush visuals, and amazing effects well over 100 years ago. The story of a team of scientists making a trip to the moon, and dealing with the imps that are inhabiting it is just shear magic.
Melies, who was a magician, found a way to use the camera to expand his magic. The scene where the scientist is hitting the imps with his umbrella and them blowing up is nearly seamless, even to modern audiences.
The use of the static background is beautiful and gives a great depth to the new medium of film. When this film was made the camera was so large that you were unable to film “on location,” so the backgrounds had to be created in a small controlled space.
Everything in this film just screams fun. Pure escapist fun. I can’t recommend it enough.
Available for streaming on Amazon Prime, and Youtube. Amazon Prime has 2 versions, the B&W version with a narration and a colorized version with updated music. Neither are as great as the original silent film with the hand tinting.