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Méliès, the Lumiére Bros., and A Trip to the Moon

by Kate Fortmueller

A Trip to the Moon (and other Méliès films) are often juxtaposed with the Lumiére films to illustrate two different impulses in cinema. The Méliès films represent the narrative (as well as the magical and fantastical), while the Lumiére films represent the documentary, non-narrative, and realist impulses. Of course (like most generalizations), these assumptions do not account for all of the films - there are Lumiére films that tend toward narrative as well as humor.

This sequence demonstrates the visual style of Méliès's films. He shot his films in a studio and used a tableau style. His sets often had moving pieces.  This sequence, like Life of an American Fireman, also demonstrates repeated action (the landing in the moon's eye and the view of the moon's surface).

Méliès and A Trip to the Moon

by Kate Fortmueller

A Trip to the Moon (and other Méliès films) are often juxtaposed with the Lumiére films to illustrate two different impulses in cinema. The Méliès films represent the narrative (as well as the magical and fantastical), while the Lumiére films represent the documentary, non-narrative, and realist impulses. Of course (like most generalizations), these assumptions do not account for all of the films - there are Lumiére films that tend toward narrative as well as humor. This sequence demonstrates the visual style of Méliès's films. He shot his films in a studio and used a tableau style. His sets often had moving pieces.

A Trip to the Moon (1902) - Landing on the Moon

This clip of the moon landing comes from the restored hand-colored copy of A Trip to the Moon.

from A Trip to the Moon (1902)
Creator: Georges Méliès
Distributor: Flicker Alley
Posted by Kate Fortmueller
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