A Trip To The Moon (1902) Constellations Vibrations Score
With our newest techniques, we’ve restored one of our favorite classic films once again! On top of the new film restoration, our friends “Constellation Vibrations” composed a new narrated musical score for this classic! Check it out, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Please enjoy this version of the film which is like nothing you’ve seen (or heard) before.
A Trip to the Moon is a 1902 French adventure short film directed by Georges Méliès. Inspired by a wide variety of sources, including Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon and its 1870 sequel Around the Moon, the film follows a group of astronomers who travel to the Moon in a cannon-propelled capsule, explore the Moon’s surface, escape from an underground group of Selenites (lunar inhabitants), and return to Earth with a captive Selenite. Its ensemble cast of French theatrical performers is led by Méliès himself as main character Professor Barbenfouillis. The film features the overtly theatrical style for which Méliès became famous.
Scholars have commented upon the film’s extensive use of pataphysical and anti-imperialist satire, as well as on its wide influence on later film-makers and its artistic significance within the French theatrical féerie tradition. This original hand-colored print was discovered in 1993 and restored in 2011.
A Trip to the Moon was an internationally popular success on its release, and was extensively pirated by other studios, especially in the United States. Its unusual length, lavish production values, innovative special effects, and emphasis on storytelling were markedly influential on other film-makers and ultimately on the development of narrative film as a whole. It was ranked 84th at the 100 greatest films of the 20th century by The Village Voice. The film remains Méliès’ best known, and the moment in which the capsule lands in the Moon’s eye remains one of the most iconic and frequently referenced images in the history of cinema. It is widely regarded as the earliest example of the science fiction film genre and, more generally, as one of the most influential films in cinema history.
At a meeting of the Astronomy Club, its president, Professor Barbenfouillis, proposes an expedition to the Moon. After addressing some dissent, five other brave astronomers—Nostradamus, Alcofrisbas, Omega, Micromegas, and Parafaragaramus—agree to the plan. A space capsule in the shape of a bullet is built, along with a huge cannon to shoot it into space. The astronomers embark and their capsule is fired from the cannon with the help of “marines”, most of whom are played by young women in sailors’ outfits. The Man in the Moon watches the capsule as it approaches, and, in an iconic shot, it hits him in the eye.
Selenites appear, and it becomes increasingly difficult for the astronomers to destroy them as they are surrounded. The Selenites capture the astronomers and take them to the palace of their king. An astronomer lifts the Selenite King off his throne and throws him to the ground, causing him to explode.
The astronomers run back to their capsule while continuing to hit the pursuing Selenites, and five get inside. The sixth astronomer, Barbenfouillis himself, uses a rope to tip the capsule over a ledge on the Moon and into space. A Selenite tries to seize the capsule at the last minute. The final sequence depicts a celebratory parade in honour of the travellers’ return, including a display of the captive Selenite and the unveiling of a commemorative statue bearing the motto “Labor omnia vincit”.
Directed, Written, and Produced by Georges Méliès
Based on From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon by Jules Verne
Music by “Constellation Vibrations” – Oliver Hall, Kevin Kelly & Kelvin Minter
Narration and sound effects by Oliver Hall
Restored and upscaled by moonflix.com
Georges Méliès as Professor Barbenfouillis
François Lallement as the officer of the marines
Henri Delannoy as the captain of the rocket
Jules-Eugène Legris as the parade leader
Victor André, Delpierre, Farjaux, Kelm, and Brunnet as the astronomers
Ballet of the Théâtre du Châtelet as stars and as cannon attendants
Acrobats of the Folies Bergère as Selenites
Original release date:
September 1, 1902