Thursday, 27 September 2012

Unit 1 Film Review: A Trip to the Moon (Dir: Georges Melies)

‘The screen's first science fiction story - a 14 min. masterpiece, created by imaginative French director/master magician Georges Melies in his version of Jules Verne's story.’ Dirks T (2004). 
It is hard to imagine the impact this film had on the audience. While some of the more educated members may have been familiar with the Jules Verne story, it is likely that this piece of work was entirely new to the majority of the viewers. It's affect must have been mind-blowing. Within the space of fourteen short minutes the viewer is introduced to the concept and execution of space travel. They are then transported to another world, laughable by todays standards and rife with scientific inaccuracies but nevertheless immersive and plausible. 

‘The primitive silent landmark has more charm and originality than many modern CGI-cluttered epics.’ Hall P. (2004). 
Hall's comment is entirely pertinent. Being transported to an alien environment is a commonplace occurrence, now. So much so that it is more and more difficult for filmmakers to dupe their audiences. We expect too much from our entertainment nowadays, we used to enjoy being lied to, no longer it would seem. All the Avatar's and Alien's of today have achieved is abandoning simplicity for 'realism'. A realism that doesn't, and cannot truly exist. By dictating their vision so wholly, the charm and the opportunity for the audience to enhance the images on screen using their imaginations is compromised. One does not taste as well when spoon fed.

‘A treat for cineastes and sci-fi fans alike, with Melies borrowing from both Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.’ Brunson M. (2009)

There can be no denying the impact this film has had on it's successors. Without it would the Science Fiction so many love and take for granted have a different feel? Would it be less ambitious?

Review Bibliography:

Brunson M. (2009). Creative Loafing. In: 25.04.12 [online] At: (Accessed on 27.09.12)

Dirks T. (2004). Tim Dirks’ The Greatest Films. In: 16.03.12 [online]  At: (Accessed on 27.09.12)

Hall P. (2004). Film Threat. In: 08.03.04 [online] At: (Accessed on 27.09.12)

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