Georges Méliès released the first science fiction film A Trip to the Moon (Le voyage dans la lune) in 1902. The filmmaker spared no expense for special effects and is regarded as the “father of special effects.” Some of you may have seen Martin Scorsese’s Hugo (2011), which features Méliès, who really went bankrupt in old age and eked out a living selling candy and toys in the Montparnasse station in Paris. Review his short film and consider the following questions. Do any aspects of the film recall the practices of early photography? What are some differences and similarities between the photographic camera and the film camera?
There are many copies on the web of various degrees of quality (you can even find copies of a recently restored hand-colored version). The quality of the following version on YouTube is very good.
Georges Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon
If you are interested, you can watch a clip from Scorsese’s Hugo here. The music video for Tonight, Tonight by the Smashing Pumpkins is an homage to Méliès, watch it here.
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