by Philip Pomposi
“A Trip To The Moon” is a silent, French Film; maybe the oldest film you will ever watch. It was created before planes were flying, the Ottoman Empire was still in existence and the U.S. only had 45 States. The year is 1902, and a French stage actor named Georges Melies takes the world and creates one of films most loved works of fiction and captures the sprit of imagination.
The film tells the story of a group of astronomers, who hold a meeting and agree on going to the moon. They then build a huge bullet shaped ship and get fired out of a giant cannon before they land on the moon. This has become a famous moment in film history and has been parodied in many ways.
The astronauts then go for a ventured on the moon, and eventually get tired and fall asleep. During which, it begins to snow and they find refuge in a cave. The astronauts are in shock when they see mushroom like plants. Then an inhabitant of the moon called the Selinites started attacking the astronauts who try to fight them off but, end up being held captive. After escaping and taking off with their ship, they land in an ocean on earth and are picked up, and receive a hero’s welcome. It is amazing that such a story is told in a short time. The film is 15 minutes so it is an easy watch.
Despite being over a 100 years old and using many outdated special effects, “A Trip To The Moon” is still a masterpiece. The film is often considered the first story driven, first science fiction(It is not directly related to any of Julius Verne’s works, however the influence of his writing is there) and first fantasy film ever made. Melies was a stage actor, who happened to build sets and new a trick or two. He used what he knew and tried to capture a theater performance on film.
For many year the film was only shown in black and white. Then in 1993, a watercolor version of the film was found. It was the only known version to survive. The reels were in terrible condition and it took nearly 20 years to repair. Then in 2011, the full color version was shown for the first time and it was well received in the movie community. In 2012 the band Air, created an album that was crated for the new version. This is an interesting take on a beloved classic, however, it does not deter from the magic or nostalgia of the black and white version.
“A Trip To The Moon” is a trip worth taking, sit back and enjoy the ride.