A Trip to the Moon (1902)

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A Trip to the Moon (1902)

Post by joeyv23 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:40 am

Wikipedia wrote:A Trip to the Moon (French: Le Voyage dans la Lune)[a] is a 1902 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès. Inspired by a wide variety of sources, including Jules Verne's novels From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon, the film follows a group of astronomers who travel to the Moon in a cannon-propelled capsule, explore the Moon's surface, escape from an underground group of Selenites (lunar inhabitants), and return to Earth with a captive Selenite. It features an ensemble cast of French theatrical performers, led by Méliès himself in the main role of Professor Barbenfouillis, and is filmed in the overtly theatrical style for which Méliès became famous.

The film was an internationally popular success on its release, and was extensively pirated by other studios, especially in the United States. Its unusual length, lavish production values, innovative special effects, and emphasis on storytelling were markedly influential on other film-makers and ultimately on the development of narrative film as a whole. Scholars have commented upon the film's extensive use of pataphysical and anti-imperialist satire, as well as on its wide influence on later film-makers and its artistic significance within the French theatrical féerie tradition. Though the film disappeared into obscurity after Méliès's retirement from the film industry, it was rediscovered around 1930, when Méliès's importance to the history of cinema was beginning to be recognized by film devotees. An original hand-colored print was discovered in 1993 and restored in 2011.

A Trip to the Moon was named one of the 100 greatest films of the 20th century by The Village Voice, ranked 84th.[6] The film remains the best-known of the hundreds of films made by Méliès, and the moment in which the capsule lands in the Moon's eye remains one of the most iconic and frequently referenced images in the history of cinema. It is widely regarded as the earliest example of the science fiction film genre and, more generally, as one of the most influential films in cinema history.


Hand-colored print

No hand-colored prints of A Trip to the Moon were known to survive until 1993, when one was given to the Filmoteca de Catalunya by an anonymous donor as part of a collection of two hundred silent films.[92] It is unknown whether this version, a hand-colored print struck from a second-generation negative, was colored by Elisabeth Thuillier's lab, but the perforations used imply that the copy was made before 1906. The flag waved during the launching scene in this copy is colored to resemble the flag of Spain, indicating that the hand-colored copy was made for a Spanish exhibitor.[93]

In 1999, Anton Gimenez of the Filmoteca de Catalunya mentioned the existence of this print, which he believed to be in a state of total decomposition, to Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange of the French film company Lobster Films. Bromberg and Lange offered to trade a recently rediscovered film by Segundo de Chomón for the hand-colored print, and Gimenez accepted. Bromberg and Lange consulted various specialist laboratories in an attempt to restore the film, but because the reel of film had apparently decomposed into a rigid mass, none believed restoration to be possible. Consequently, Bromberg and Lange themselves set to work separating the film frames, discovering that only the edges of the film stock had decomposed and congealed together, and thus that many of the frames themselves were still salvageable.[94] Between 2002 and 2005, various digitization efforts allowed 13,375 fragments of images from the print to be saved.[95] In 2010, a complete restoration of the hand-colored print was launched by Lobster Films, the Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema, and the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage.[92] The digitized fragments of the hand-colored print were reassembled and restored, with missing frames recreated with the help of a black-and-white print in the possession of the Méliès family, and time-converted to run at an authentic silent-film speed, 14 frames per second. The restoration was completed in 2011[96] at Technicolor's laboratories in Los Angeles.[97]

The restored version premiered on 11 May 2011, eighteen years after its discovery and 109 years after its original release, at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, with a new soundtrack by the French band Air.[98] The restoration was released by Flicker Alley in a 2-disc Blu-Ray and DVD edition also including The Extraordinary Voyage, a feature-length documentary by Bromberg and Lange about the film's restoration, in 2012.[99] In The New York Times, A. O. Scott called the restoration "surely a cinematic highlight of the year, maybe the century."[100]

Original black and white silent film:

Hand colored restoration:

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