Sunday, July 06, 2008

The List: Voyage to the Moon
(dir. George Méliès, 1902)

Yeah... this one's the very first on the list. It's quite primitive.

I'm watching it right now on YouTube. So I guess this is sort of a liveblog? Méliès basically set up a camera and had people walk and flail around in front of it... which I guess is still fundamentally what filmmaking's about anyway. There's lots of discontinuous editing (not sure if that's the correct term... I should know that). Eventually, the people board a little spaceship, as the French narrator man is telling me now. Then they fly up to the moon and the spaceship hits it in the eye, and looks like a bullet. The moon looks mad (it has a face, btw). Now they're on the moon. And the audio track for the second segment has changed from french narrator man into this bizarre techno/Philip Glass score. I kind of like it. French narrator man was getting boring. The sets are actually very elaborate. I wasn't noticing that before, because the actual filmmaking is so nonexistent. But I guess this qualified as "spectacle" back in 1902. It actually resembles a sort of filmed ballet. That's kind of cool. Yay, I'm appreciating it. Now there are all these primitive-looking moon natives with spears (to expound on the "primitive" theme). And the techno score is kicking serious ass. Oh my, they're on a cliff! Somebody's gonna fall. Oh wow, the whole spaceship fell. But they got away from the natives. That's good. And it landed in the ocean. Which I'm assuming is back on Earth. But who knows. This movie is trippy.

I'm now watching it again with a different audiotrack. This time there's a narrator AND a musical score. Awesome. The audiotracks MAKE this thing. I'm definitely appreciating it more now. It's like sci-fi meets vaudeville. And they made it over 100 years ago. Awesome.



Blogger John T said...

This and The Great Train Robbery are two films that you just sort of can watch and see the hundreds of films that seemed to spring out of it-every scene has been borrowed from and has inspired.

11:15 PM  
Blogger elgringo said...

Just wondering, have you ever seen this before? It's one of my favorites of all time.

2:16 AM  

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