Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902)
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Critic Reviews for Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon)
...suddenly we have the cinema - that glorious mutt art.
... a work of pure, playful imagination, a picture-book fantasy brought to life with intricate, hand-painted sets and a whimsical portrait of science as wizardry by way of the industrial revolution ...
A treat for cineastes and sci-fi fans alike, with Melies borrowing from both Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.
Audience Reviews for Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon)
A Trip to the Moon is worth the short runtime. It's the first sci-fi film and has been an influence to everything that has come after it. This is a nice little imaginative sci-fi film from one of filmmaking first pioneer. Putting into context when this was made and how short a period of time it had been since making films had even been possible, is pretty crazy to think about. Definitely give this one a look. It's nice to see where cinema started.
Ladies and Gentlemen: the world's first sci-fi film! Based on works by Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, this is a landmark film from essentially the king of the silent era, one Georges Melies. What we have here is the story of a group of curious astronomers who, fascinated by space, construct a rocket, travel to the moon, have a run in with the locals, raise a ruckus, then escape back home to planet Earth. It's simple, and sounds a bit hokey, and does come off as a tad silly, but, at the time especially, and, to an extent today, this is still a work which evokes a sense of awe and wonder. Yeah, it's rough in comparison to contemporary films, but for something that's 111 years old, I think it holds up reasonably well. There's innovative special effects, the pioneering use of now common cinematic techniques, and a great amount of energy and excitement, especially with the performances. Yeah narratively speaking some of it seems rough, especially since there's no title card inserts, and, even though I don't mind having to figure stuff out based purely on visuals, for a few bits I think it would have been nice to get some specific clarification on things. Apparently during some screenings, someone would read a script to provide some basic narration as things played out. I think that's kinda cool, and a touch ambitious. I recognize that this is an important and influential film, and it's more successful in those regards than it is when looked at as just a stand alone film, but even then it's still pretty cool and entertaining. And of course, if not for this movie, there wouldn't be one of the greatest music videos ever ("Tonight, Tonight" by The Smashing Pumpkins).
This film was the turn of innovative film narratives to come. For its time, this must've been absolutely incredible. During a time when the world received little to no exposure to films, they were introduced with special effects and cuts with disappearing and revealing objects. This must've really blown everyone's minds away. Now if you're ready to jump in, you're really gonna needa wipe the dust off "A Trip to the Moon"; its really showing its age by now, but its easy to see why this is considered a masterpiece for its time. Can't exactly recommend it to the average joe, but for those film enthusiasts, "A Trip to the Moon" is a must watch for its the Godfather of all films.
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