PASI SPRE LUNA (1963)
aka Steps to the Moon
Article 3997 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Ion Popescu-Gopo
Featuring Ion Anghel, Marcel Anghelescu, Radu Beligan
What it is: Fantasy of legend and history
A man, bound for the moon, dreams that he must wend his way through the world of legends, myths and history to make his way to his destination.
It’s movies like this that really brighten this whole project. It has no subtitles, but none are needed; the movie is virtually without talk. In his journey, our hero meets such luminaries as Prometheus, Cupid, Mercury, Galileo, Cyrano de Bergerac, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, and attempts to fly to the moon in several different ways, including hitching a ride with an eagle, using a flying carpet, riding a witch’s broomstick, etc. There’s no real story, but it’s charming and engaging, and filled with touches of humor; the closest I can come to a comparison is with the works of Melies and Karel Zeman. The humor can be quite surprising at times; my favorite moment has the hero coming to the rescue of Prometheus by scaring the eagle away, wiping the brow or Prometheus, and then quietly and casually reattaching part of his fake beard that came loose.