A TRIP TO THE MOON

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A Trip to the Moon (French: Le Voyage dans la lune) is a 1902 French black-and-white silent science fiction film. It is based loosely on two popular novels of the time: Jules Verne‘s From the Earth to the Moon and H. G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon.

 

The film was written and directed by Georges Méliès, assisted by his brother Gaston. The film runs 14 minutes if projected at 16 frames per second, which was the standard frame rate at the time the film was produced. It was extremely popular at the time of its release, and is the best-known of the hundreds of fantasy films made by Méliès. A Trip to the Moon is the first known science fiction film, and uses innovative animation and special effects, including the well-known image of the spaceship landing in the Moon’s eye.

Plot.

At a meeting of astronomers, their president proposes a trip to the Moon. After addressing some dissent, six brave astronomers agree to the plan. They build a space capsule in the shape of a bullet, and a huge cannon to shoot it into space. The astronomers embark and their capsule is fired from the cannon with the help of “marines“, most of whom are portrayed as a bevy of beautiful women in sailors’ outfits, while the rest are men. The Man in the Moon watches the capsule as it approaches, and it hits him in the eye.

Well-known frame of A Trip to the Moon.

Landing safely on the Moon, the astronomers get out of the capsule and watch the Earth rise in the distance. Exhausted by their journey, the astronomers unroll their blankets and sleep. As they sleep, a comet passes, the Big Dipper appears with human faces peering out of each star, old Saturn leans out of a window in his ringed planet, and Phoebe, goddess of the Moon, appears seated in a crescent-moon swing. Phoebe calls down a snowfall that awakens the astronomers. They seek shelter in a cavern and discover giant mushrooms. One astronomer opens his umbrella; it promptly takes root and turns into a giant mushroom itself.

At this point, a Selenite (an insectoid alien inhabitant of the Moon, named after one of the Greek moon goddesses, Selene) appears, but it is killed easily by an astronomer, as the creatures explode if they are hit with a hard force. More Selenites appear and it becomes increasingly difficult for the astronomers to destroy them as they are surrounded. The Selenites arrest the astronomers and bring them to their commander at the Selenite palace. An astronomer lifts the Chief Selenite off his throne and dashes him to the ground, exploding him.

Explorers in the Selenites Palace.

The astronomers run back to their capsule while continuing to hit the pursuing Selenites, and five get inside. The sixth uses a rope to tip the capsule over a ledge on the Moon and into space. A Selenite tries to seize the capsule at the last minute. Astronomer, capsule, and Selenite fall through space and land in an ocean on Earth. The Selenite falls off and the capsule floats back to the surface, where they are rescued by a ship and towed ashore.

Hand-colored version.

Like many of Méliès’s films, A Trip to the Moon was sold in both black-and-white and hand-colored versions. A hand-colored print, the only one known to survive, was rediscovered in 1993 by the Filmoteca de Catalunya. It was in a state of almost total decomposition, but a frame-by-frame restoration was launched in 1999 and completed in 2010 at the Technicolor Lab of Los Angeles- and after West Wing Digital Studios matched the original hand tinting by colorizing the damaged areas of the newly restored black and white.

 

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UN VIATGE A LA LLUNA.

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A Trip to the Moon (francès: Le Voyage dans la lune) és una pel·lícula francesa en blanc i negre, muda de ciència ficció del 1902. Es basa en dues noveles populars de l’època: De la Terra a la Lluna de Jules Verne i El Primer Home a la Lluna de H. G. Wells.

 

La pel·lícula fou escrita i dirigida per Georges Méliès, qui fou assistit pel seu germà Gaston. La pel·lícula te una durada de 14 minuts si es projectada a 16 fotogrames per segon, la qual era la velocitat estàndard en l’època que la pel·lícula es va produir. Fou extremadament popular en l’època, i és la més coneguda dels centenars de pel·lícules de fantasia de Méliès. A Trip to the Moon és considerada la primera pel·lícula de ciència ficció, i fa ús d’efectes especials i animacions innovedores, incloent la imatge més que coneguda del coet aterrant dins l’ull de la Lluna.

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Published by :

Toni Ramírez Duran.

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