Saturday, July 20, 2019

Le Voyage Dans La Lune (film by Georges Méliès, 1902)

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In 1902, director Georges Melies released his magnum opus: Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To the Moon), often considered the first science-fiction movie ever. Even if you've never heard of Melies, you've probably seen the film's most famous shot: a moon with a human face, wincing at the spaceship that has just crashed into its eye.

What almost no one has seen since the film's original release is its true color palette. Modern audiences know Le Voyage as a black-and-white movie, but in fact, Melies hand-painted each frame of the film for special screenings. Those hand-painted reels were lost for decades; when they were discovered in Barcelona back in 1993, archivists began a years-long process of repairing the badly damaged film. For its soundtrack, they asked Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel — the French duo known as Air — to put together an original score.

The new restoration debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2012. (Read full text at NPR's website)

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