Saturday, July 23, 2011

Le Voyage Dans La lune

A Trip To The Moon was a French silent film made in 1902 by Georges Melies. Just 14 minutes long, the movie is recognized as the first science fiction film ever made. The movie is a surrealistic romp with giant mushrooms and insect aliens that attack six astronauts after they crash their spaceship into the moon's eye. Director George Melies was a French illusionist and magician. He became a filmmaker as an extension of his illusionist act. He became a pioneer in the use of special effects originating such filmic devices as multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves and hand-painted color. Between 1896-1913, Melies directed 531 films. He intended to release A Trip To The Moon in the United States but Thomas Edison's film company made secret copies of the movie and distributed it throughout the country. Melies ultimately went bankrupt and most of his movies were either lost or destroyed. The only known hand-colored print of A Trip To The Moon was rediscovered in 1993 in a state of near-complete decomposition. A frame-by-frame restoration began in 1999 and was completed in 2010. The restored version premiered in 2011, 109 years after its original release. Martin Scorcese's film Hugo depicts a fictionalized version of George Melies' life and journey through film. (5" x 7", black ink print)

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