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As one of the first films of the science fiction genre, "Le Voyage Dans la Lune" (or "A Trip to the Moon") is revered as the greatest achievement of stage magician and film pioneer Georges Méliès and one of the most important movies ever done. Written and directed by Méliès himself, "Le Voyage Dans la Lune" is a wonderful visual fantasy that shows Méliès' imagination at its wildest form, and how with limited resources and lots of creativity he managed to make a film like nothing the world had ever seen before.
"A Trip to the Moon" is loosely based on the books "From the Earth to the Moon" by Jules Verne, and "The First Men in the Moon" by H. G. Wells, as it deals with the adventures of a group of astronomers in their first travel to the moon and the wonders and dangers of their Odyssey. After arriving to the Moon in their bullet-shaped spaceship (it was launched by a giant cannon), they discover the Selenites, the people from the Moon; and as their presence is unwelcome, the group of astronomers will have to fight for their survival.
With a runtime of barely 14 minutes, "Le Voyage Dans la Lune" is an awe-inspiring ride of fantasy, adventure and magic that more than 100 years after its release, still captures the imagination with its wonderfully crafted visuals and its charming comedy. The plot is very well-written, as the story flows nicely and although of a very simple nature, it's very well-developed and really entertaining showing that Méliès was a gifted storyteller.
However, the most amazing feature of "A Trip to the Moon" is without a doubt its amazing visuals. With a mix of stage tricks, camera tricks, and several types of animation, Méliès crafts a surreal fantastic vision of the Moon with the care of a painter and great artistic sensibility. It's almost as if a painting came to life. The now iconic image of the Man in the Moon being hit in the eye by the spaceship is only one of the many amazing scenes that the genius of Méliès crafted with great imagination.
Director D.W. Griffith said about Méliès, "I owe him everything" and Charles Chaplin called him "the alchemist of light" and both men were absolutely right in their remarks. Georges Méliès' work is a must-see for every film buff and I dare to say, for everyone in general as in its simplicity, it conveys humanity's most powerful trait: Imagination. "Le Voyage Dans la Lune", Méliès's most famous film, is without a doubt an immortal classic and one of the greatest films ever done. 10/10
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