Le voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902)
Directed and Written By: Georges Melies
It’s actually quite difficult to write a review on a short film such as this. The plot is very simple: a group of astronomers are shot (via a giant cannon) for a journey to the moon. There they are forced to fight Selenites (the lunar inhabitants) who arrest the scientists, only for the men to daringly escape and return to the Earth where they land in the ocean and are rescued by a ship. Sounds like a very straight forward science fiction adventure? It should because that’s exactly what it is.
Based on stories by Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, A Trip to the Moon is truly remarkable. It’s an very enjoyable ten minutes or so and one can’t help but to smile while watching it. Granted some of the effects are crude (often using camera cuts), but there’s a certain charm involved that makes one look past it. Let’s not forget it was filmed in 1902! Georges Milies was a complete visionary and one can easily see his performing magician roots while watching his films. This one is no different.
Bottom Line: As stated before, it’s pretty difficult to write a lengthy review of such a short film. So why even try? You need to see this. It has a certain charm that will always be present. I couldn’t imagine seeing this in a theatre of some sort 100 years ago. It would have been absolutely mind blowing. As it is now, it is a remarkable achievement that stands up to this very day.
10/10 (Highest Recommendation).
As an added bonus, here’s a link to the movie as well as the video for Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight” which could very much be considered a remake of A Trip to Mars.