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Trip To The Moon

(1902) B&W 13 mins French Silent

Georges Melies is often credited with being the cinema's father of fantasy, and his 1902 short A Trip to the Moon would seem to support that contention. Full of imaginative uses of editing and photography and inspired by the works of Jules Verne, the film contains one of the most recognizable images in motion picture history: the sleek, steel-riveted rocket ship jutting out from one of the eye sockets of an expressive man in the moon. Most historical accounts of Melies indicate that he was a trained stage magician whose skills were well-adapted to the new medium of the cinema, but he was also the first filmmaker to produce "commercials" (in the sense of advertising films for a variety of companies). A Trip to the Moon is still surprisingly enjoyable and bursts with many of Melies' technical innovations.

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