A TRIP TO THE MOON
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: GEORGES MELIES
BASED ON NOVELS BY: JULES VERNE & H.G. WELLS
REVIEWED FOR: 1001 Movie Club
OVERALL SCORE: 10/10
How does someone truly review one of the first narrative films of all time? How does someone judge the accuracy of a science fiction film that predates modern knowledge in ways we can only hope to experience one day? That's the difficulty with watching this 1902 classic eight minute piece of cinema.
There's very little opportunity with this film to evaluate the film in terms of narrative flow, acting ability, character development, and cinematic style. When it was created almost none of those things existed in the world of cinema. Which in many respects makes A Trip to the Moon simply unrivaled in stature or importance.
Georges Melies shaped the future of cinema in ways you and I will never fully understand. Where many saw trains and walking people, he saw the ability to create magic. To transport a viewer to a world beyond sight and sound. The ability to blend animation and science fiction, with stage originated storytelling, Melies was able to create a whole new world of entertainment right before everyone's eyes.
The career magician made a number of films after having first experienced moving pictures in 1895. These films, numbering in the 500's, detailed techniques, such as the blending of animation/artistry to create a seamless story without resorting to off screen narrators, or cue cards to describe events that could not be illustrated otherwise.
There is no denying that A Trip to the Moon is painfully outdated. However, we'd all love to still look as grand and awe inspiring at 108 as Melies classic does. A Trip to the Moon is equal parts entertaining, fun, silly, outlandish, and just downright absurd. Making it a perfect mantle piece for things I love about cinema. Melies put time, heart, and genius into this film, and that's something to which I hold nothing but eternal respect.
*You can see the film in its entirety, here.