I am so excited to begin this journey, and to commemorate it, I chose A Trip to the Moon as my inaugural film. You can find both the black and white as well as the color versions of this film streaming on US Netflix.
A Trip to the Moon is a short 12 minute film, but it is a wonderful example of fantasy storytelling in action, using special effects that seem very innovative and revolutionary for the time. At 1902 film was just becoming widely used as a medium of entertainment and Georges Méliès (the director and star) created a film a inspired an entire movement of creativity by introducing the first sci-fi film. It was originally released in black and white in France under the title “Le Voyage Dans la Lune”, but it eventually made its way to many other countries. The color version was hand-painted under Georges Méliès’ direction. It was lost and believed to be destroyed until a copy was found and a restoration was done. Both versions are available on Netflix.
The black and white version has music that seems more fitting but it also has a voice over that is pretty comical. It is important to know that Georges Méliès did not have a soundtrack for his films, but he instead had music and a narrator performing along with the film. That small fact helped me understand why a famously “silent film” was not so silent. The color version is more.. shall we say… trippy. The colors are beautiful but a little off and the electronic music makes it feel like a rather bad mushroom trip, but in a good way artistically. When you get to the moon in the color version, the music becomes soft and delicate, almost serene.
Over all I prefer the black and white over the color version, thought with the film only being 12 minutes long, why not try both? I am glad to begin this journey with such an iconic film, and cannot wait to see the next on the list!
I give this film 4/5.