Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Trip to the Moon (1902)

Or, Le Voyage dans la Luna. Oh, la la!

Wizened old scientist proposes a trip to the moon to other wizened old scientists amidst fanfare and women with nice butts. One scientist disagrees but is convinced when he is pelted with books.

They visit the worksite where workers are building their space bullet and cause trouble. Later, the ship is ready for launch. The old men are loaded into the ship assisted by woman with decidedly less than nice butts. They wave to the camera.

A civil war general orders the launch and they are shot to the moon. The trip takes several seconds. The moon is not happy.

The scientists marvel at their surroundings and the sight of an Earthrise. They are narrowly missed by a meteor and decide to take a nap. The stars and planets and whatnot come out, and they awake when it begins to snow. They go underground and find moon mushrooms. They are confronted by exploding moon men and are captured, and taken them to their leader. They blow up said leader and make their escape.

They climb into their bullet craft, push it over a cliff, and land in the ocean. On Earth. A moon man comes along for the ride. They are welcomed as returning heroes and do a dance with the moon man. The end.

Georges Melies wrote, directed, produced, and starred in one of the earliest examples of science fiction. Melies, however, didn't make much money on it. Seems some bastard named Edison pirated his movie and showed it all over America.

The movie seems to be something of a farce. The scientists are comedic, foolish old men. The notion of going to the moon (67 years away, across unthinkable scientific advancement) was laughable back in aught 2. But the movie stands up. Not because of anything it predicted. Just about everything was wrong, not that he cared. The moon does not rotate with respect to the Earth, therefore there cannot be an Earthrise. Not the point, here. But because it was inventive, imaginative, and whimsical. It's a pleasure to watch. I've watched it about four times so far. AMRU 4.

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