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Sunday, July 19, 2015


SACRE BLEU--The actor, in this scene of the lunar landing, was reported to have uttered the immortal words (translated here from the French) “...I come in one piece and take this one small step for France and one giant leap for the special effects industry...”  Of course, his words were lost forever as a result of this being a silent film.  If he didn’t he should have.
Editor’s Note: On July 19, 1969 NASA’s Neil Armstrong was the first human to step on the moon. Some 67 years earlier on Aug. 2, 1902, French filmmaker George Melies took the world on an iconic 14 minute voyage to the moon.  Melies is known as the father of special effects and as one of the first victims of film piracy as his work was immediately copied and sent to the U.S. where Melies copywright was not in effect.  Reportedly, one of those first film pirates was none other than Thomas Edison.

To view Melies work go to YouTube:

GUEST BLOG—By Colin Marshall, OpenCulture, a free cultural and educational media source on the web: you’ve taken a film studies course, you’ve almost certainly seen the work of Georges Méliès.

His 1902 short A Trip to the Moon, at the top, which some cinema scholars cite as the picture where special effects as we know them began, has a particularly important place in cinema history. Nobody who watches that fourteen-minute production ever forgets the image of the moon’s consternation after the protagonists’ spacecraft crashes into it. And the rest of the movie, if narratively shaky, still has an impressive visual power.

Filmmaker George Melies scored a direct hit with film audiences as
A Trip to the Moon became a blockbuster of its day.

If anybody had both sufficient imagination and sufficient know-how to commit such a voyage to that cutting-edge medium known as motion film over a century ago, the theater owner and seasoned illusionist Méliès did. Charged by the cinematic pioneering of his countrymen the Lumière brothers, he began doing it in 1896, and continued until 1913, which makes A Trip to the Moon a mid-career highlight.

Other article on “A Trip to the Moon”:

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