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)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Becky,

    This is sounding a lot less chatty - well done.

    Just a couple of things; make sure you proofread before you post - you state that the film was 'made in May 1202'... I know it's old, but that's a bit TOO old ! :)

    Just double-check which bits of your bibliography need to be in italics (ie not the author and date, but the film title does).

    It's usually a good idea to embed your images within the text at the relevant section; it just makes it easier for your reader to see what you are talking about.