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The Astronomer's Dream; or, The Man in the Moon (1898)

La lune à un mètre (original title)
An astronomer falls asleep and has a strange dream involving a fairy queen and the Moon.

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Jeanne d'Alcy ...
Phoebe - la bonne fée (uncredited)
...
L'astronome (uncredited)
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Storyline

"In the opening of this film is seen the astronomer intently poring over his books. Suddenly, in a cloud of smoke, Satan appears and surprises the astronomer. At the command of the Fairy Queen, who suddenly appears, Satan vanishes; she awakens the astronomer and as he goes forward to meet her she disappears. The astronomer is very much excited, and, rushing over to the large telescope he tries to discover by what means she had vanished. The moon now appears, and begins her repast by eating the immense telescope used by the astronomer. The astronomer flies around apparently wild at the loss of his wonderful telescope. Suddenly the moon opens wide her mouth and there comes forth a tot of about five summers. She is immediately followed by two others, and they proceed to dance around the astronomer, and vanish one at a time until but one is left. The astronomer, picking her up, thinking he could keep her, hugs her tightly in his arms, but she also vanishes. Tired and heart-broken the ... Written by Lubin Films (1907)

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1898 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Astronomer's Dream; or, The Man in the Moon  »

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(hand-colored)|

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Georges Méliès: [moon] Becomes anthropomorphic and tries to eat the main character, and is punched away by him. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Moon over
16 January 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Maybe the first example of science fiction and fantasy in a narrative form from the pioneer of early cinema Georges Melies as he plays an astronomer studying in an observatory when a devil figure appears then a woman who sends the devil away.

The astronomer draws a globe on a blackboard which starts to move, when he looks through the telescope the moon appears with a large face like the face later used in Thomas the Tank Engine cartoons and it eats the astronomer's telescope.

Then small men come through the mouth of the moon and then it goes back in the sky and then the moon becomes a crescent when another figure in the shape of a lady appears.

This is just part of the content in a short film just over three minutes long that has set design, characters in costumes, special effects and use of editing as well as surreal imagery. The editing is jumpy but again it is Melies that was showing the early promise of cinematic illusion.


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