Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Space Oddities Film Programme - Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902)

The movie that was screened was titled Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip to the Moon), 1902, directed by Georges Méliès. As a French Illusionist, George always had the eye for creativity. This explains the elaborated set design that can be seen throughout the movie. He had a vision of what he wanted to present to the world of cinematography. Christopher seems to be accurate when he said “Méliès is quite rightfully considered a pioneer in this particular field of film-making and deploys his illusions in Le Voyage with the glee of a master magician.“ (Christopher Preston, 16 October 2012) because it was him who introduced the world what science fiction movie is like.

Figure 1: Movie Poster
The famous, iconic and well- known shot of the rocket shell hitting the “man in the moon” right in the face and the how the life forms from the moon turn to dust once they were killed made the film a memorable one till this date. Though these shots seemed to be super easy to replicate by today’s standards, it represented a hallmark in film back in 1902. 

What can be observed from the film was the use of stop motion.  In the scene where the teacher killed the life form from the moon and it turned to dust, the camera had to stop recording, and the character was removed from the set and an explosive dust bag was replaced. So once it was hit, it turned out to be dust giving us the illusion that the character was dead. This is what we call special effects in the current day. A century went by and blockbuster movies like The Mummy Returns (2001) adapted this technique and it could be seen in several of the scenes one of which, could be seen from Figure 3, the man was turned into dust. 

Figure 2: A scene on the moon [Still Image from the Film]

Figure 3: Still Image from The Mummy Returns (2001)
Apart from that use of dust, George was creative and had huge imagination when he substituted the large-scale elements he needed with something more practical to use when making the film. An example of this would be the scene when the rocket plunges into the ocean. He used a fish tank so that the viewers could visualise what was happening when it was underwater. 

Figure 4: A Fish Tank [Still Image from the film]
In conclusion, this film may be a short one but it was the start of the special effects revolution. The film in general lacked of content but it did not make the film a bad one because it left the audience with the amazing exposure of graphics that inspired the cinematography world of today. 

List of Illustrations:

Figure 1 Le Voyage Dans La Lune, 1902 [Poster] at accessed on 24 September 2013

Figure 2 A Trip to the Moon / Le Voyage dans la lune - 1902 [Television Programme Online] Mittinscat1 (1902) 10 minutes 30 Seconds at
 accessed on 24 September 2013

Figure 3 The Mummy Returns (5/11) Movie CLIP - The Mummy Attacks (2001) HD
 [Television Programme Online] Movieclips (2001) 2 minutes 20 Seconds at accessed on 24 September 2013
Figure 4 In the sea [Still Image] at accessed on 24 September 2013

List of Bibliography:

Christopher Preston
16 October 2012

Accessed on 24 September 2013


  1. Hi Ayunie! Well don on getting your first film review out there!
    You have made interesting observations here, and your referencing is almost spot-on :) When you put the reference in the text after a quote, you just use the author's surname and the year of publication, so in your case (Preston, 2012). If it was from a book, you would also have the page number, so (Preston, 2012:43) for example. Also, in your bibliography, the surname goes first, followed by the initial, so again in your case, Preston, C. When you have more that one name, they are arranged alphabetically by surname.
    Which brings me on to how you introduce people within your text. You are right to introduce Georges Méliès by his full name the first time we meet him, but after that you should use his surname, rather than his first name, so you would talk about Méliès rather than Georges...using his first name sounds like you know him personally! :) Similarly with Christopher Preston - surnames only please!

    The only other thing I would say, is that the brief asks you to use 3 quotes from different sources, so make sure that in future reviews you do this...

    Looking forward to reading your next one! :)

    1. Hi Jackie,
      Thank you for your feedback! I will take everything you've highlighted and input it in my next one! :)