Break out your telescopes because it’s time for another installment of Classic Movie Monday, where I sift through Netlix’s Classic section so you aren’t left crying over the fact that you binged Orange is the New Black in two days. This week I am taking a look at the ultimate classic–George Melies’ 1902 silent film A Trip to the Moon.
The film is about fifteen minutes long and Netflix offers both the original black and white and a colorized version. I opted for the black and white, but I believe the colorized version on netflix comes from an original hand-colored print that was rediscovered in 1993 and restored in 2011. The story follows a group of astronomers who travel to the moon in a capsule (propelled by a canon of course) and begin to explore the surface.
The first scene involves a group of astonomers, all dressed like the bastard love child of Merlin and John Wayne Gacy Jr, emphatically waving their arms over I’m assuming a proposed trip to the moon. After three minutes of waving aboutsomething, a group of men start to build the capsule that our wizard-clowns will take to the moon.
Apparently being a wizard-clown enables you to walk around the moon without any protective gear, which is pretty cool. After literally landing in the eyeball of the moon our astronomers begin to explore. They discover much more than they bargained for and soon must scramble to make it back to Earth.
Do our wizard clowns survive? Is the moon made of cheese? Take fifteen minutes out of your day and find out for yourself! Everyone has seen the iconic picture of the moon with a capsule in his eye, so you should watch the film so you can be the pretentious one in your friends group just like me! If you want to get extra snobby you can even watch the hand-colored version directly after and tell everyone you know the merits of each.
Some trivia for your long journey there and back –
– Film historians know that Thomas Edison was a major d-bag when it came to the early film industry in America, well he screwed over Melies too. Edison’s film technicians secretly made copies of A Trip to the Moon and distributed them across the US before Melies himself could distribute the film. Meaning that the creator of the film never made any money off of American screenings, while Edison made a fortune. Douche.
– One of the earliest science fiction films, and since a segment at the end is animated it is also one of the earliest known animated films as well.