Favorite Science-Fiction Films: A Trip to the Moon (1902)

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a-trip-to-the-moon-mondo-poster

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

I teach a course for the Wescoe School at Muhlenberg College: English 255 Literature & Film, which makes me very happy, because I am able to look at both literature and film, both media which I love. In one of the lectures for the class on film history, I speak to the earliest examples of cinema.

One of the first movies is also a science-fiction film: A Trip to the Moon (La Voyage Dans La Lune). Georges Méliès, one of the innovators of cinema, was the director, and he based the film, at least loosely, on Jules Verne’s novel From The Earth To The Moon (1865).

George_Melies

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

This movie is revolutionary not only in its being an early example of cinema but also in the treatment of science-fiction. Human beings have been explorers for the entirety of our existence, and this movie suggests that it was possible to move our journeys from the Earth to other worlds, a concept that informs our science-fiction cinema from the beginnings to our current films.

The plot shows scientists explaining how to get to the moon, the trip there, including a spaceship being shot out of a cannon, landing on the moon, being chased by inhabitants of the moon, and finally escaping back to Earth. This film explores adventure, imagination, advances in technology, and human potential.

Méliès,_viaggio_nella_luna_(1902)_07

(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

This movie is usually considered by critics to be one of the most important in film history. It can be seen at https://archive.org/details/ATripToTheMoon1902 . If you are interested in the history of film and science-fiction, you should see this important historic and artistic film artifact.

The film runs, depending on the print from about 10-15 minutes.

Voyage_dans_la_lune_title_card

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

 

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13 thoughts on “Favorite Science-Fiction Films: A Trip to the Moon (1902)

  1. I knew about this movie from music clips. I dare to propose one of these clips, ‘Tonight, Tonight” by The Smashing Pumpkins, with some sort of a remake. I hope you’ll appreciate it as well!

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  2. I have seen this movie! To think that it was made in 1902- how incredible for that time. There is a story behind the movie written in the book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick. Fascinating!

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  3. I do love science fiction so much more than horror. I’ve always believed that science fiction is just the first step to science fact. What the imagination can conceive so becomes reality. in a fashion.

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