Archive Fever! 3.0: The Extraordinary Voyage with A Trip to the Moon
Cinema’s most unforgettable image is perhaps that of the man in the moon being poked in the eye by a rocket ship. The magical Georges Méliès, one of the celebrated heroes of Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, was the creator of that image, and his A Trip to the Moon thrilled audiences in 1902. Now, thanks to one of the most technically sophisticated and expensive restorations in film history, A Trip to the Moon can delight audiences once again in color.
The Extraordinary Voyage
dir. Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange, France, 2011, video, 60 mins, color
This fascinating documentary charts Moon’s voyage from the fantastical Méliès’ production in 1902 to the astonishing rediscovery of a color nitrate print in 1993 to the premiere of the new restoration on the opening night of the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. Interviews with some of contemporary cinema’s most imaginative filmmakers including Costa-Gavras, Michel Gondry, Martin Scorsese, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Michel Hazanavicius, attest to Méliès’ enduring significance.
A Trip to the Moon
dir. Georges Méliès, France, 1902, video, 16 mins, color, silent w/ recorded musical accompaniment by Air
In the first outer-space adventure in the history of cinema, six members of the Astronomers’ Club set off on an expedition to the moon, encounter the Selenites, flee their King, and return home to a triumphant parade. The hand-painted color version of Méliès’ legendary A Trip to the Moon was unseen for 109 years until its glorious new restoration by Lobster Films, Groupama Gan Fondation for Cinema and Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage.