For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Black & White Movies, here’s a review of A Trip to the Moon (1902) by Reut of Sweet Archive
Thanks again to Steven of Past Present Future TV and Film. for choosing this month’s genre.
Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Sherise of The Girl That Loved to Review. We will be reviewing our favorite movies from the 1970’s. Please get me your submissions by the 25th of September by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org Try to think out of the box! Great choice Sherise!
Let’s see what Reut thought of this movie:
A Trip to the Moon (Le voyage dans la lune) 1902
There are so many outstanding B &W films to choose from for this month’s GG. Thanks to Steven of Past, Present and Future in TV and Film for a wonderful choice!
I decided A Trip to the Moon was a well worthy choice as:
- I haven’t seen the film ever, and it seemed unfortunate for a film lover like me not to know it.
- It was an inspiration to one of the greatest music videos ever made, and one of my all-time favorites, The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight”.
- It’s French… and you know how much I lovvvve French films.
Synopsis: A group of thrilled bearded astronomers expedite to the moon to explore its surface. Shot out of a huge canon on a propelled capsule, the ol’ bunch hit the poor moon straight into its eye when they land (remember that timeless icon?). Fighting moon creatures called Selenites (who blow smoke when getting hit), the group end up returning to earth in a splashdown, with a one clingy creature as captive, only to be welcomed with honorable cheers and celebrations.
This 13 min’ long silent masterpiece was directed by the legendary Georges Méliès, who also played one of the characters. Making this film in 1902, Méliès was mainly inspired by 2 novels written by Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon, which are also about a group, or more like a GunClub, of men enthused to build an enormous vessel and launch 3 people to the moon. I never read anything written by Jules Verne, to be honest, but I know so many film directors took an inspiration from his novels, including Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s The City of Lost Children, with underwater scenes inspired by Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. I’m not much of a reader, unfortunately, and Verne’s books always seem a million pages long, so I can’t really be bothered… but the man was an inspiration to so many artists, I feel obligated to at least read the back of one of his books.
A Trip to the moon was filmed in black and white originally, however, in 1993 a color version of it was discovered and restored only in 2011. The color version is as wonderful as the B & W one (and both can be easily found on YouTube), only this time it’s followed by a brilliant soundtrack composed by electronic duo, Air, making it their seventh studio album. I do think it’s a brilliant combination, the film and the band. You’re in for a treat, so check it out.
It’s incredible seeing how a 113 year old film can still be very much relevant and entertaining, but perhaps its old age is what makes so entertaining after all. The film’s brilliantly equipped with exaggerated sense of humor, iconic slapstick style mostly familiar with Chaplin and Buster Keaton, and as always, very amusing to watch. A first of its kind when it comes to outer space Sci-Fi films. Méliès originality with special effects and filming techniques is outstanding, extremely innovative and is very influential in the medium until today. Méliès’s vision of an expedition to the moon is a fantastic child-like experience, and fun to watch, whether B & W or colored, and I would definitely recommend any film lover to see it at least once.