So from the title and the Smashing Pumpkins video, you can probably guess that this week was analysing Le Voyage dans la Lune by Georges Méliès. This ground-breaking short film has left its mark on modern film-making in or than one way.
I was actually quite taken with this film, the acting and set was simply portrayed as was the acting, yet so cleverly done, the complexity of it only fully understand on closer inspection. I love the over theatrical style along with the use of the parody and the ‘pataphysical is unique and a ground-breaking style.
The script reads like a scene list, something I use in prose. It helps to identify fuller each scene, ready to be expanded on. From some side reading (Soloman, M Fantastic Voyages of the Cinematic Imagination)I understand that Melies did all, this within a glass house like building, and it was shot using ‘substitution splice’. to me it is a technique that comes naturally by simplifying each step, like an outline.
I see this as the first sci-fi film made, and like other sci fi screenwriters since, the use of imagination takes control making the impossible believable and making the believable a reality.
I remember years ago reading The Physics of Star Trek (yes I hold my hand up proudly as a purchaser of that copy) reading how scientists used Roddenberry’s idea’s in Star Trek to fuel their own research ideas.
Apart from the unique perspective, as pointed out in the documentary (below) most of the magic was done in editing, the double exposures, superimposition and dissolves all which have become stables in modern film production.
This shift affected screenwriters in that it ‘upped the game’,you can go as far as your imagination without limitations. The non-linear story with dream sequences is told clearly even without dialogue.
Its uses descriptors, gives location and describes action, the recipe for a script used today which would have been a huge step as back at the start of the 20th century most films were more documentary style in the way they filmed real events happening.