GEORGES MÉLIÈS’ A TRIP TO THE MOON & AUTOBIOGRAPHY BLU-RAY

How can you start writing about a film that is both well covered in film history and in film legend? Well I guess with an exploitative prod for the unschooled. This is the film that started audiences love affair with special effects. This is from the director who inspired the human journey into space. Said film maker disappeared and finally reappeared thanks to the work of people like Martin Scorsese. All three of these factoids are valuable but only one is actually a fact.

George Melies disappeared from our screens in 1913. Watch the excellent documentary on the disc and its all extrapolated in brutally clear detail. A TRIP TO THE MOON made his name but became like a weight around his neck. Stolen revenue never reclaimed, his two studios lost and his whole stock of films burnt to smoke. Melies however was lucky and he and his most famous film was to resurface anew. Now you note I have not actually discussed the synopsis. I dont see the point to. It is so famous, it is not worth it.

Instead we should speak about the actual release. Firstly this is a very interesting step from Arrow. They are effectively attempting to fill a gap in their market offer. Eureka have cornered the market in quality silent cinema of world renowned. Films from Lang like METROPOLIS, MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA, NOSFERATU, THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC and more are releases that gave them the advantage. Arrow have decided to take note.

DISC

A TRIP TO THE MOON runs at a slender 14 minutes. It is available in both black and white and colourised versions. The colourised version looks better in feel but the black and white has an improved transfer.

Coming from 1902 its not surprising but for taste, the black and white has not perished to as great an extent. However I liked the colouring as it added a dream like feel.  The scores must be discussed as they are different for the versions. I really liked Jeff Mills (American DJ) score on the colourised version. It has the mechanical and magical down perfectly.  On the Black and White I was not taken with either version but didn’t mind the actors voicing version. It was a surreal experience and one that may jar for some.
EXTRAS

For the fan it will be the 214-page hardback casebound book of Georges Méliès’ autobiography. Why not. First time in English. The snippets I saw are certainly illuminating as to how Méliès lost the battles of money and making art.  But I would say the best extra is the very good documentary An Extraordinary Voyage. It illuminates the life of Méliès in a very rapid and expansive way. It also asks film people their thoughts on his work and how it connects to themes in their own work. I enjoyed hearing Costa Gavras wax lyrical. Le grand Méliès (1952) is a worthy short to watch and might make you look deeper into Franju and his great catalogue of films.

ARROW STORE EXCLUSIVE LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS

  • Limited Edition of 1,000 copies
  • Deluxe limited edition packaging featuring newly commissioned artwork
  • 214-page hardback casebound book of Georges Méliès’ autobiography, previously unpublished in English

BLU-RAY

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original uncompressed Stereo 2.0 and 5.1 surround audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Multiple scores by world renowned composers
  • The Innovations of Georges Méliès – new video essay by Jon Spira exploring A Trip to the Moon and Méliès’ career
  • An Extraordinary Voyage – Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange’s 2011 documentary on the film, its rediscovery and preservation for future generations, featuring interviews with Costa Gavras, Michel Gondry, Michel Hazanavicius, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  • Le grand Méliès (1952) – a short film directed by Georges Franju about the life and work of Méliès
  • 2020 re-release trailer

BOOK

The Long-Lost Autobiography of Georges Méliès: Father of Sci-Fi and Fantasy Cinema

  • Available for the first time since 1961, finally translated into English by Ian Nixon, with annotations and supporting material by Jon Spira, Méliès filmography, illustrations by Lucy Collin, interviews with filmmaker Serge Bromberg, silent film expert Bryony Dixon, and filmmaker Michel Gondry

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.