A Trip to the Moon (1902)
Surely this is the oldest film I’ve seen, I can’t think of anything that would beat a 1902 release. Georges Méliès short adventure may seem a little shakey, but 1902, this is pioneering stuff. Now I’ve seen this before in black and white. I had no idea a colour version existed, but it did, hand painted of course, but it was lost for 90 odd years, before being unearthed, rescued, digitised and now here in Technicolor glory. And oh what glory! The colour is a bit eye searing granted, but it looks wonderful. The music too is a little odd I have to say, a warped psychedelic trip hop fusion, but it’s pretty good. Anyway we start with a hall full of wizard like astronomers planning, you guessed it ‘A Trip to the Moon’. They set about building a rocket with lots of hammers and steam, before our mutton-chopped top hatted travellers board the iron vessel with some fanfare from a ladies dance troupe and... the fuse is lit! Brilliant! Then we get the classic scene with the rocket crashing into the eye of the man in the moon. Everyone knows this surely, it’s an iconic image. From here on things get proper trippy. Masked zebra like aliens, tons of mushrooms (surely not a coincidence), smoke and a load of composite shots that Terry Gilliam owes a career to. It’s a beautiful experimental collage through some amazing worlds, with just enough structure to give the adventure legs and at a thrifty 15 minutes it rattles past fast as they escape back to the safety of earth, with an alien in tow, to receive their congratulations and each get a giant moon badge to wear with pride. I enjoyed it so much, I dug out the black and white version, which on reflection I think I prefer and watched it all again. Fantastic!!