User ReviewsAdd a Review
Here we have the great pleasure to enjoy more of the magician's cinematographic tricks he knew so perfectly well: people and things vanishing and reappearing, the drawn settings seemingly coming alive... THOSE are the 'little' shorts (with a running time of only about 3 minutes then) which led to today's movies with their special computer effects and almost unbelievable scenes - something that EVERY film fan should see in order to get to know the ORIGINS OF TODAY'S CINEMA!
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.
For such an old film it's extremely ambitious. Méliès uses his famed visual trickery in many ways here but perhaps the most memorable aspect about this one isn't a special effect, it's the huge moon man. This large giant orb is a precursor to the famous one in A Trip to the Moon a few years later. In this one he is a source of menace but he is quite comic looking nevertheless. A memorable creation for sure and one of the first iconic moments in the early years of cinema.