Friday, February 12, 2016

2016 Blind Spot Series: A Trip to the Moon

Based on the novels From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon by Jules Verne as well as other sources, Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) is the story of a group of astronomers who make a daring trip to the Moon and discover what is there. Written for the screen, directed, edited, production designed, and starring Georges Melies, the film is a silent film that is considered one of the very first foray into sci-fi as it is a simple adventure story of a journey to the moon. Also starring Bleuette Bernon, Francois Lallement, and Henri Delannoy. Le Voyage dans la Lune is a spellbinding and majestic film from Georges Melies.

The film is a simple story that follows a group of astronomers who makes a plan and see what is out there in outer space by going on a trip to the moon. It’s a film that is filled with a lot of imagination and ideas from the mind of Georges Melies who wouldn’t just create these scenes that are unique but also play into what stories could be told. Even as something that is daring as a world like the moon where it’s a world that was yet to be explored. Under the direction of Melies, many of the compositions are quite simple as it relates to not just a group of men inside a room but also in the people that are celebrating the launch of this rocket. Melies’ approach to framing is very evident as he captures a wide scope to what he is showing as well as images that are off the world.

With the aid of cinematographers Theophile Michault and Lucien Tainguy, the film has this very evocative look thanks in part to the fact that many of the images were hand-painted on the film. The set design with help from art director Claudel doesn‘t just flesh out exactly what is on display in the sets that is created but also in what Melies would believe the world of the moon would look like. Even in the idea that there could be creatures or aliens as they were wonderfully designed with the aid of costume designer Jeanne d’Alcy. While Melies, along with Francois Lallement and Henri Delannoy, provide some lively performances into the multiple roles they play. They also help in creating ideas of what these men could say with Bleuette Bernon playing the role of the woman on the moon as well as other roles. The film is also unique for its editing as it has many of these fast-cuts that serve as the prototype for jump-cuts as well as some dissolves that would to the film’s magical tone.

From the film’s 2011 restoration is a score by the French electronic duo known as Air. A mixture of electronic with jazz and rock, the score doesn’t play into some of the elements of sci-fi but it’s also one that is very whimsical as well as displaying a lot of tone depending on a scene and such.

Le Voyage dans la Lune is a spectacular film from Georges Melies. While it’s only a thirteen-minute film depending on the frame-speed that is shown. It is truly one of the finest touchstones in cinema as well as a look into one of the finest works from one of cinema’s great pioneers. In the end, Le Voyage dans la Lune is an incredible film from Georges Melies.

© thevoid99 2016


Dell said...

I've seen so many shots from this, but never sat and watched it. I've got to do this. Great review.

Rebecca Sharp said...

Definitely a must see for any film fan!

Brittani Burnham said...

Great review! I haven't seen too many silent films, this sounds like one I could watch.

thevoid99 said...

@Wendell-Do it now!!! I think it's available on YouTube but I think there's also a link to it on its Wiki page.

@Rebecca Sharp-Indeed!!!!

@Brittani-Thank you. I knew I had to do another silent film for the Blind Spot series and I wanted to go as far back as those early days of cinema.

ruth said...

Boy I need to see this. I remember wanting to see Georges Melies' work after seeing HUGO. Great review!

thevoid99 said...

@ruth-Thank you. Go see it.... NOW!!!!