Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902)

That special certain someone who picked me up the 101 Horror Movies to See Before You Die has done it again. This time she gave me 101 Sci-Fi movies to see before you die.

Now, while I haven’t finished the horror movies yet, I thought it would be fun to mix it up a bit, and be able to bounce between genres for awhile.

So leaving the horror films in the 80s, I am traveling back to 1902 to watch Georges Melies innovative and magical film Le Voyage Dans La Lune.

The film was inspired by the works of Jules Verne and HG Wells, and benefits from Melies previous experiences as a magician.

And there isn’t a trick missed in the book.

Moving, intricately designed sets, double exposures, jump cuts to change props and actors, makeup are all at play here as a group of scientists, dressed almost like magicians, plan and organize a trip to the moon.

(I also should point out that while they are there, they seem to have started man’s first interstellar war. Just sayin’.)

The scientists build an enormous cannon, into which is placed a large bullet shaped rocket with our intrepid explorers aboard.

They launch, landing squarely in the eye of the Man in the Moon, one of cinema’s most famous images, and camp out under an Earth-rise and a sea of stars and planets after their exhaustive journey.

When they wake, they continue their exploration and meet the Selenites, who will apparently dissolve into smoke if struck harshly.

Captured, our heroes make their escape, clambering back aboard their bullet rocket, which then, quite literally falls off the moon, and down into Earth’s ocean, and the explorers return triumphant!

Verne, Wells, and Melies were all visionaries, and while there are plenty of differences between real rocket launches, the basics were there even at the turn of the 20th century.

Science Fiction inspires people to make these dreams reality, and may very well be one of the reasons I enjoy the genre so much. It’s only fiction until it isn’t anymore.

So join me as I find my way across universes, planets, alien civilizations… going boldly, to explore 101 Sci-Fi movies…

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