magical vintage views
Came across this beautiful short film a few weeks ago while browsing Netflix. "A Trip to the Moon" (Le Voyage dans la Lune, in French) directed by Georges Méliès, a French illusionist and filmmaker, is the story of an adorable group of astronomers who journey to the Moon in a cannon-propelled rocket ship.
You know those delicately feminine and sweet vintage postcards you find at the Antique Store? Well it's like an endless dream of those sweet illustrations lovingly hand-painted in candy colored pastel hues. The film was created in the "overtly theatrical style for which Méliès became famous for."
I found it quite interesting that Georges Méliès started his creative career as a magician. You can definitely see the enchanted influences of someone that loved sharing a fantasy world with his audiences. He was also the pioneer of the first double exposure and the first dissolve. He discovered some of these special effects by accident when he was filming and his camera jammed.
As you're watching "A Trip to the Moon" you may say to yourself, "This feels strangely familiar!" Well if you're like me and you were obsessed with The Smashing Pumpkins in the mid-nineties you'll remember why... the video for "Tonight, Tonight", from their third album: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, was inspired by "A Trip...". I was in love with that music video when I was younger and thought it was so unique and so beautifully done. I remember seeing them perform the song on the MTV Video Music Awards... and I was speechless. I sill hold a special place in my heart for it, but I'll be honest... I was a little bummed when I realized how similar it was to Méliès' film.
After falling in love with "A Trip to the Moon" I looked up a few more Méliès films... and while they were all equally as magical, another favorite I found was "The Kingdom of the Fairies" (Le Royaume des Fées).
The other thing you may be struck by as you watch these films is the remarkable color application. The somewhat uncontrolled painting in whimsical hues adds to the dream like quality of Méliès' work. For all of his films he outsourced the coloring to a female run firm in Paris. 220 women colorists, in an assembly line, would hand paint the imagery one hue at a time, frame by frame. Nice work ladies!