Excursion dans la Lune (1908)

EXCURSION DANS LA LUNE (1908)
aka A Trip to the Moon
Article 4204 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 4-16-2013
Directed by Segundo de Chomon
Cast unknown
Country: France
What it is: Mimicked Melies

A scientist concocts a scheme to take himself and a bunch of travelers to the moon.

This movie entered my list as A TRIP TO THE MOON (1903), though it was actually made several years later, but I gather that a great variety of misinformation made the rounds about this one. One thing is for sure; it is a blatant imitation of the Melies film from 1902. Every scene here has an equivalent scene in the Melies film, and the story arcs are largely identical. Still, it isn’t a slavish imitation; for one thing, this one is much shorter and more compact. Chomon also restages and retools certain scenes so that the effects are slightly different; for example, the rocket doesn’t hit the eye of the moon, but enters through its mouth, giving it indigestion. Oddly enough, one of the biggest differences between the two movies is that Chomon adds a dancing girls sequence to the “court on the moon” scene; though no dancing girls appear in that scene in the Melies film, it is exactly the sort of scene you’d expect from Melies. No, it’s not as significant a film as the original, but it’s fairly entertaining in a “variations on a theme” way.

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