Film Review - Le Voyage dans la lune


Le Voyage dans la lune

Release date - 1902
DirectorGeorges Méliès
Genre - Drama, Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy.

Another iconic must see film, which even if you haven't watched already you have probably seen the smirking moon with a rocket lodged in its eye, as its now one of the most recognizable images, or you may have seen one of the many adaptations of the film. Some more mainstream adaptations include Futurama's The series has landed (1999) (fig.2) where bender proceeds to lodge a beer bottle into the mascots face. Few may know that also the band Smashing Pumpkins released a song called Tonight Tonight (1995) they included a video with the song which is also a adaptation of the film (Fig.3) although there is a huge difference in each adaptation it is clear that the film Le Voyage dans la lune (1902) was in mind.

A film of it's age is clearly still an influence to some or maybe felt it was pure brilliance by others, something that started off so strong it is truly no surprise that its going strong today "Made in May 1902 and marketed in August of that year, the film was an immediate success." (R.F.Cousins, 2013).
 "For a film over a hundred years old, it retains its charm."(Bluebottle, 2013) which is correct, when watching the film even though it is truly old and we have grown up with special effects and even simple things such as colour the film carries a cute factor, something of which grabs your attention and make you sit forward to concentrate, making sure you don't miss anything. Unlike The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) it doesn't have inter titles, some may prefer this but either way it doesn't take anything away from the film, it still manages to captures everyones attention and keep it while telling a story perfectly.

At the beginning we are show the astronomical society, where people are gathered, all dressed rather similarly to wizards, we may get that back then science may have been considered some form of magic, but this doesn't actually explain why they all turn their telescopes into stool to proceed to sit down and listen to the gentlemen at the front. The whole film doesn't scream reality for obvious reasons but seeing this makes you question why these typical scientist were able to do magic "What are we to make of this magic trick? Are these scientists blessed with powers of metamorphosis, or is this just fantasy environment where physical laws do not apply?" (Dan North, 2010) we all know that the film is fantasy but you expect this from the point they reach the moon, to where they don't require anything to breath and gravity is the same as earth's, not to mention after getting attacked by the creatures that reside on the moon they all climb back into the bullet / rocket that got them there and fall back down to earth, like it was a small drop of a cliff. Throughout the film you may notice the painted backdrops for the Astronomers Club and in the  industrial area that had smoke rising from chimneys, much like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) but this time maybe less for dramatics and more about the budget.

Undeniably filmmaking at its best.



Bibliography -

Bluebottle. (2013) 'La voyage dans la lune - The film.'
In: http://h2g2.com 07.05.13 [Online]
At: http://h2g2.com/edited_entry/A87787039#conversations (Accessed on the 29.9.14)

Cousins, R.F. (2013) 'Le Voyage Dans La Lune.'
In: http://www.filmreference.com [online] 
At: http://www.filmreference.com/Films-Vi-Wi/Le-Voyage-dans-la-Lune.html (Accessed on the 29.9.14)

Futurama: Series 1, Episode 2. (1999) Fox: April 4th.

North, Dan. (2010) 'A trip to the moon / La voyage dans la lune (1902)'
In: http://drnorth.wordpress.com 10.06.10 [Online]
At: http://drnorth.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/a-trip-to-the-moon-le-voyage-dans-la-lune/ (Accessed on 29.9.14)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) Directed by Robert Wiene [DVD]
Berlin: Decla-Bioscop AG

The Smashing Pumpkins - Tonight, Tonight. [Music video online]
Flood, Alan Moulder, Billy Corgan. (1995) 4.16minutes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOG3eus4ZSo (Accessed on the 29.9.14)

Illustration list - 

Figure 1. Great movies - Le Voyage dans la lune (1902)
[Poster] http://doctorofmovies.com/2013/04/07/great-movies-le-voyage-dans-la-lune-1902/ (Accessed on the 29.9.14)

Figure 2. The series has landed (1999)
[tv still] http://theinfosphere.org/images/thumb/e/ea/Jan_2002.PNG/180px-Jan_2002.PNG (Accessed on the 29.9.14)

Figure 3. uploaded by hdelviejoandres (1969)
[Film still] http://i.ytimg.com/vi/Sm68-S0qYSA/0.jpg (Accessed on the 29.9.14)

Invisible cities - thumbnails 49 - 64


Film Review - The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari


The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari 

Release date - 1920
Director - Robert Wiene
Genre - Horror, Mystery & Suspence, Classic, Cult movie.

Undoubtably one of the most influential silent films out there, directed by Robert Wiene,  screen play by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer. It's a classic film showing paranoia about a hypnotist who uses a somnambulist to do his killing with an added twist ending, to which should be notable for having introduced the classic 'twist ending' in films and for its bold, weird and creepy set designs. 

"Credited as introducing the "twist ending" to cinema, Robert Wiene's 1920 "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" is a groundbreaking work of german Expressionism" (Cole Smithey, 2011)

In this era you can't deny even the credits seemed slow and it takes time to adjust to the classic film, but once we do adjust we can truly appreciate the films extraordinary use of painted light and clearly extraordinary characters.

One of the first things we notice is the films extraordinary set, the characters of this crazy dream like world inhabit a strange disproportionate, bold and tilted place, where shadows are painted straight onto set giving it a much more dramatic and honestly creepy feel, shown in (fig.2). Given the set is so heavily stylised it does make us feel as if Robert Wiene was trying to escape reality completely. The scenery is odd to say the least, with its jagged backgrounds, distorted and sharp look but its this look that makes us love and appreciate the film.((fig.3) showing distorted and jagged set to prove our point.) While reading through a few other reviews of the film we aren't in short supply of people who also think the set and overall look of the film is genius "The first thing everyone notices and best remembers about "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1920) is the film's bizarre look." (Roger Ebort, 2009).


Moving away from the set design now and more onto the makeup and characters, Cesare (fig.4) has some pretty heavy and bold eye make up, which generally adds to the overly creepy affect of the film also suggesting right from the start his character may not be so innocent, the character, just based on makeup likeness, for many may slightly resemble Edward from (Edward scissorhands, 1990) with his overall gloomy appearance, the pale, empty look, which just shouts mentalist. All characters are presented this way, all over done and all clearly not a normal bunch of town folk.
 "The makeup on the actors' faces seem ghostly and horrible - even on the hero" (Tim Eaton, 2002)


As for Jane (fig.5) it seems she has a more gothic lolita look going for her, in the film her pale beauty obviously aids her in become the soul love interest of two guys at once, who go about there interest in her very casually by even saying no matter what they will always be friends, like anyone truly believes that. But, back to the overall look of jane, it seems again another Tim burton film comes up when thinking about referencing, the white queen from (Alice in Wonderland, 2010) both have a very pale completion with dark lips, becoming pale beauties.

It seems The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari has truly been an inspiration to many film makers throughout the years and without it we probably wouldn't have some of our favourite and most well known films now. 

Bibliography - 

Smithey, Cole. (2011) 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - Classic film pick'
In: http://www.colesmithey.com. 03.10.11 [online] At: http://www.colesmithey.com/capsules/2011/10/the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari.html
(Accessed on 25.09.14)

Ebert, Roger. (2009) 'The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari'
In: http://www.rogerebert.com. 03.06.09 [online] At: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari-1920.
(Accessed on 25.09.14)

Eaton, Tim. (2002) 'Discovering silent film' 
In: http://www.imdb.com. 27.03.02 [online] At: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0010323/reviews.
(Accessed on 25.09.14)

Edward Scissorhands, From: Edward Scissorhands. (1990) 
Directed by Tim Burton. [DVD] USA: Twentieth Century Fox.

Alice In Wonderland, From: Alice In wonderland. (2010)
Directed by Tim Burton. [DVD] USA: Walt Disney Pictures.

Figure 1. Cabinet_of_dr_caligari_poster_02.jpg. (1920)
[Poster] www.horrorscreen.com. (Accessed on 25.9.14)

Figure 2. 2012-Crosscuts-walkerartcenter. (1920)
[Film Still] http://www.trocadero.com. (Accessed on 25.9.14)

Figure 3. The cabinet of Dr.caligari (german expression films). (1920)
[Film Still] http://splatterpictures.net/2011/04/08/the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari-german-expressionist-films-part-one/. (Accessed on 25.9.14)

Figure 4. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari film still / Germany 1920. (1920)
[Film Still] http://www.trocadero.com/stores/MuseXX/items/597699/item597699.html.
(Accessed on 25.9.14)

Figure 5. The_Cabinet of Dr Caligari_Jane. (1920)
[Film Still] http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_dg0zsi-BmVo/TLi-IPz2fVI/AAAAAAAAAIM/DOXT5hnSxZU/s1600/caligari.jpg.
(Accessed on 25.9.14)


First day, First thumbnails.

48 One minute thumbnails, didn't think i'd get so many done in one sitting.
Personal favorites, 4, 9, 14, 17, 19. Will probably do some more detailed images of these asap.