If you are a Millennial or a Generation Z, you would almost think that science fiction movies began to trend not too long ago. However, the fact remains that Sci-Fi movies began over a hundred years ago.
In 1902 to be precise, ‘A Trip To The Moon’ or ‘Le Voyage Dans La Lune’ (in French) was produced, having many science-fiction features with the accurate use of special effects and props. It was a French adventure, a short, and silent film, lasting only 14 minutes, which was long enough for any film at the time.
Related media: A Trip To The Moon (Full Movie 1902) By Georges Méliès
Once Upon A Moonie
After studying the surface of the Moon, the astronomers are caught by the Selenites who live on the Moon but eventually manage to escape and make their way back to Earth with a captured Selenite.
The astronomers are then celebrated on their return and a statue with the motto “Labor omnia vincit,” which translates as “Work conquers all,” is unveiled. ‘A Trip To The Moon’ was inspired by famous sci-fi authors Jules Verne and Herbert G. Wells.
Before The Apollo Mission
After many decades, one can say that sci-fi as a genre has greatly evolved and heavily impacted the movie industry with the portrayal of the scientific and alien world in diverse creative ways.
As one of the most remarkable productions in film history, ‘A Trip To The Moon’ employed the fantasy storytelling technique in portraying the themes of scientific ambition and discovery.
Though not based on any genuine type of science, ‘A Trip To The Moon’ features basic components of the modern sci-fi genre, such as aliens and sleek rockets, that would now be regarded as sci-fi.
The film satirized Victorian values and ridiculed the carelessness of the then Industrial Revolution. The ill-treatment of the Selenites and the rocket stabbing of the Man on the Moon in the eye, all were done to make scientists look like destructive fools.
The Sci-Fi Legacy
Even after 121 years, this revolutionary movie is still available on various platforms such as Amazon Video, Arrow, FilmBox+, BFI Player, and YouTube. Aside from being the first sci-fi film, ‘A Trip To The Moon’ remains one of the most watched sci-fi movies.
After Méliès retired from filmmaking, the movie vanished but was rediscovered in 1930. In 1993, a hand-colored original print was found and then restored in 2011.
When it was initially released, ‘A Trip To The Moon’ was an international hit, but was heavily pirated by other studios across the world. The film was listed among the top 100 movies of the 20th century, and till date, remains one of Méliès’ best works.
Let us know if you’ve seen ‘A Trip To The Moon’ before!
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Written by: Gloria Aimanehin, Mon, Feb 20, 2023.