"Le Voyage dans la lune" is a 1902 French science fiction black and white silent film known in its English language release as "A Trip to the Moon". Based on the Jules Verne novel From the Earth to the Moon, it was written and directed by Georges MÃÂ©liÃÂ¨s. Running time is 14 minutes at 16 frames per second.
It is recognized as one of the first films of the sci-fi genre, and for its innovative animation.
This film, MÃÂ©liÃÂ¨s' 400th and most notable film, was made on an astronomical budget for the time of 10,000 Francs - risky, but worthwhile since it was hugely successful. Its popularity also led to it being illegally copied, released under others' names, and pirated. MÃÂ©liÃÂ¨s wrote the whimsical script, acted in the film in the lead role, designed the sets and costumes, directed, photographed, and produced the film. He hired acrobats from the Folies Bergere, to play the lunar inhabitants named Selenites, and the scantily dressed assistants who launched the cannon were dancers from the ChÃÂ¢telet ballet.
The image of the lunar capsule landing in the eye of the moon is a memorable sight and widely-recognized in cinematic history.
As a film pioneer and producer of over 500 short films, MÃÂ©liÃÂ¨s made up and invented the film medium as he directed. He developed the art of special effects in earlier films, including double exposure, actors performing with themselves over split screens, and use of the dissolve and fade. He also pioneered the art of film editing. The sets or scenery backdrops in the film are simple, painted flats. It has all the elements that characterize the science-fiction genre: adventurous scientists, a futuristic space voyage, special effects such as superimpositions, and strange aliens in a far-off place.
This is the earliest film that...