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The Voyage Across the Impossible (1904)

Le voyage à travers l'impossible (original title)
Using every known means of transportation, several savants from the Geographic Society undertake a journey through the Alps to the Sun which finishes under the sea.

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Using every known means of transportation, several savants from the Geographic Society undertake a journey through the Alps to the Sun which finishes under the sea. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

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October 1904 (USA)  »

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An Impossible Voyage  »

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(hand-colored)|

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1.33 : 1
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For a few seconds, a pole can clearly be seen holding the anthropomorphic sun up. See more »

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Here comes the sun...
16 April 2012 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

I suppose you could consider this film as a spiritual follow up to A Trip to the Moon. The latter remains George Méliès most famous and iconic film; probably for good reason considering its ambition and imagination. An Impossible Voyage explores similar territory and is certainly a worthy companion-piece as an example of early cinematic science fiction.

In this one a group of scientists don't go to the moon, they head further afield to the sun. Perhaps this illustrates Méliès reaching out further too. Certainly this is another example of him developing the idea of what cinema could be. Unlike most of his peers, he was taking the medium into the story-telling sphere. Films like this were in this sense the beginnings of modern cinema as we know it.

The film features a nice colour tint that adds a great deal to the fantastical look. It contains a number of hand painted sets that gives it all a highly stylised look. The scientists' adventure not only takes them to the sun but also across the mountains of Switzerland, which Méliès also depicts like an alien landscape. The travellers end up in the bottom of the ocean completing their amazing journey. All in all this is an entertaining and highly imaginative work, well worth catching.


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