Short Film Showcase – A Trip to the Moon (1902)

A Trip to the Moon (French: Le Voyage dans la lune), 1902.

Produced and Directed by Georges Méliès.
Written by Georges Méliès and Gaston Méliès.
Starring Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon, Jeanne d’Alcy and Henri Delannoy.

Written, produced and directed by film pioneer Georges Méliès and based upon Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon (1865) and H.G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon (1901), A Trip to the Moon has the distinction of being the first science fiction feature film and was one of the most technically accomplished productions of its time. Featuring innovative special effects techniques and animation, the film tells the story of a group of astronomers who embark on a daring mission to the moon, where they encounter hostile creatures known as Selenites.

A Trip to the Moon was released both in black-and-white and a hand-coloured version, while the original ending – featuring a parade in honour of the astronomers’ return home – was originally believed to be lost until its rediscovery in 2002. It has become particularly memorable for its sequence of a spaceship crashing into the eye of the ‘Man in the Moon’, and scenes from the film have been incorporated into the music videos for Queen’s ‘Heaven for Everyone’ and The Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Tonight, Tonight’, as well as the Martin Scorsese feature Hugo.

The black-and-white version below includes the now-restored original ending and features a musical accompaniment from the Vancouver folk cabaret band Maria in the Shower, with narration from Bruno Hubert.

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