French illusionist-turned-filmmaker George Méliès, whom Ben Kingsley played in Martin Scorsese’s 11-time Oscar-nominated film Hugo, was a cinematic pioneer to say the least. Wildly prolific, he produced 531 short films between 1896 and 1913. The greatest of these was his 14-minute opus Le Voyage Dans la Lune. For the groundbreaking 1902 silent film, Méliès took inspiration from Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon and H.G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon. Many years later, Le Voyage inspired The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight,” which took home six VMAs in 1996.
Now, in a breathtaking fusion of music and moving image, Le Voyage has emerged from a meticulous eight-year restoration project in vivid color and with a soundtrack by Parisian electropop duo Air (The Virgin Suicides soundtrack). Belwow, take in a portion of the visionary’s otherworldly spectacle.
What do you think, PopWatchers? Can you believe this film was made 110 years ago? Do you like Air’s specially commissioned music?