Le voyage dans la lune (1902)
Director: Georges Méliès
Cast: Georges Méliès, François Lallement, Jules-Eugène Legris
Synopsis: A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the moon.
Méliès established a plot line in his groundbreaking Le voyage dans la lune that is still in use today: visiting a distant place, finding oneself in peril from the inhabitants, and making good their escape after appearing to be in an inescapable position. It’s unlikely that anyone else used old men with long white beards for their protagonists the way that Méliès does here though – or that their aliens would be so easily to exterminate: one good whack with a walking stick and they explode in a puff of smoke.
Méliès was way ahead of his time. His sets were far more detailed than those of his contemporaries; he fills the screen with details, uses props in ways that no-one else had thought of at the time, finds ways to include a number of shapely ladies in many of his films, and tells reasonably engaging stories. Le voyage dans la lune is interesting from first frame to last and is well worth a look.
(Reviewed 6th December 2008)