Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Film Review - Le Voyage dans La Lune (1902)

At the start Le Voyage dans La Lune, 1902, you get this environment which looks moderately futuristic, considering its a theatrical set and was built in a time period, where the world lacked in the technology we see today, they made use of their resources well to create a futuristic looking set. This short silent film starts off with a group of out worldly looking people, fitting into the sci-fi genre, in what seems to be a debriefing from a higher power, perhaps a boss or tutor. At this point there is cheerful music as though the workers are excited in what they are hearing, there is a short moment in which the music becomes more intense as if there is a problem or disruption but shortly the cheerful music returns.

 The workers then move to a new set, which still keeps its futuristic charm as they start to build a cannon or rocket of some kind, it is at this bit where the film starts to liven up, developing a sense of interest and intrigue in the viewer as to why these unusual looking workers are building this device. This device appears to be some sort of cannon which is then used within the moon. The director of this film was known as George Melies, in his time George Melies was known for his advancements in technology in the early days of cinema. He became created a breakthrough in special effects in cinema, with his use of time lapse photography and exposure. When watching Le Voyage dans La Lune its noticeable that theatre was a huge inspiration for this film, with the actors leaving and coming back on the stage for scenes but George Melies added a surreal interpretation on the idea of theatrical performances with the use of these camera techniques. 

Le Voyage dans La Lune was one of the first ever films in the world of films, though it is only a short, silent film, it has been influential not only in film but in terms of references, it has been referenced in film such as La Chinoise (1967) and the in music,  specifically, a video by The Smashing Pumpkins called "Tonight Tonight."(1996) Quoting film critic Michael Ewins "The director also manages to create an astonishing amount of depth with flat backgrounds, largely because of the detailed sets and the magical tone he establishes through costume and lighting." Is a statement that is very true and highly impressive for the time this film was created. Le Voyage dans La Lune is a sci-fi film that was extremely ambitious for its time as well because it features the moon, the film was made before man first stood on the moon and so just envisioning what the moon could look like on its surface is a very courageous and ambitious move from George Melies. 

In conclusion Le Voyage dans La Lune was an innovative and ground breaking film for its time and for its creativity and flexibility with its sets and costume. These assets of the film are still greatly appreciated today. 

Michael Ewins
E-Film Blog


1 comment:

  1. Hi Rhianna,

    I'm just going to make a couple of points on this review, and then direct you to your second review for more details - save me repeating myself! :)

    Firstly, you should put the directors name in the title too. When you first refer to him in the text, you can say Georges Méliès, but after the initial introduction, you just write Méliès.
    Any film titles that you use should be italicised, likewise the quotes. Remember the brief asks you to support your discussion with 3 quotes.
    Check out the Caligari review comments for more...!