|Fig 1 - Le Voyage Dans La Lune's Title card.|
Melies portrays his environments with a tremendous sense of scale and depth, using illusion and perspective to create, what would have seemed in 1902, an entirely believable world. It is scenes like the one below in which Melies creates a feeling of wonder and awe in his audience even now. Its mysticism invigorates the imaginations of its audience with Melies' own "Typical Imaginative Flamboyance"(David Parkinson, 2011) providing some of more inspiring and eccentric scenes in this film, such as the mushroom cave scene or the alien camp scene where a certain type of eccentricity gives life to these odd creations.
"Each image just another piece of magic"(Will, 2011) is a quotation that relates partially to the the enormous landscapes and vivid locations and partially to the early special effects employed by Melies to stun, captivate and amaze his audiences. The effects used for conjuring chairs out of tubes and making the alien life forms turn to smoke when hit were cutting edge for their time, using stop and start techniques that would have had audiences astounded and mystified as they tried to workout just how it had been done.
|Fig 2 - The moon scene where the |
adventurous scientists sleep for the night.
The industrial scene captures the essence of what would have been reality and adds flair of innovation to it, the use of perspective and the illusion of space drags the viewer deeper into Melies' world and gives the scene a sense of realism and give it a believable quality. It is this sense of realism that really brings the charm of this silent film to life, the fact that this could have been reality, what may seem like outlandish inventions and completely insane notions to us now gave audiences an exciting but all too possible future.
|Fig 3 - The industrial landscape scene showing|
the construction of the large cannon.
"The primitive silent landmark has more charm and originality than many modern CGI-cluttered epics."(Phil Hall, 2004) This quotation shows how this "silent landmark" has the originality that far surpasses modern films, Melies' film captures something from audiences that its modern counterparts have lost sight of. It is in the notion of realism and the coming future that Melies captures his audiences hopes and fears, what is to come with the new century, what strange and otherworldly concoctions and inventions will revolutionize humanity and what great feats of innovation and engineering will reshape the common mans way of life.
List of Illustrations:
Figure 1: Title card from Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902)
Directed by George Melies At: http://annyas.com/screenshots/images/1902/voyage-dans-la-lune-title-still-small.jpg ( Accessed 25/09/13)
Figure 2: Moon sleep scene from Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902)
Directed by George Melies. At: http://drnorth.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/le-voyage-dans-la-lune-georges-melies-1902-tableau-7d.png?w=584&h=438 ( accessed 25/09/13)
Figure 3: Industrial landscape scene from Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902)
Directed by George Melies At: http://drnorth.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/le-voyage-dans-la-lune-georges-melies-1902-tableau-3.png?w=584&h=438 ( Accessed 25/09/13)
Hall, Phil (2004) http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/trip_to_the_moon-1902/ (Online Review)
Parkinson, David (2011) http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=134388 (Online Review)
Will (2011) http://www.the-filmreel.com/2011/02/25/a-trip-to-the-moon-1902-film-reel-reviews/ (Online Review)