You've seen a movie, yes? Maybe a few movies, even. You've seen robots tear apart planets and people not meant to fall in love fall in love and characters stand up to someone they've long been afraid of standing up to.
In short, you've been there and done that, to some extent. It can take a lot to catch the film fan's eye, especially the fan who has seen thousands of flicks. But play a clip of "A Trip to the Moon," one of the films that got this whole film thing jump-started, and watch hardened celluloidists stare and sigh.
They're rapt. We all are. Because "A Trip to the Moon," the 1902-born, sepia-drenched wonder made by Georges Mèliés, is not only a main progenitor of the movie business, it is almost like a prediction taken physical form.
The film's message, when it debuted, was clear. It said to viewers this, or something near this: "You may not know it yet, people of 1902, but you will soon know what everyone will come to know: Movies are magic." (Props to the people of 1902; we're in no way talking down to them from the future, because we're sure future people will have much to say of 2011; we hope they are mostly kind.)
Now the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be screening a restored version of the film on Tuesday, Sept. 6. Tickets are $5. No, that isn't a 1902 price, but it really is much lower than a 2011 price, right? It's good. And bet the evening will sell out, faster than you can say the word "moon." Which can be said pretty fast.
Here are two headlines about the restored movie; Air composed an original score, and it will be appear in its "original hand-colored version direct from its recent re-premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this May."
Whimsy on Wilshire. You don't even need to go into outer space to get it.
Image courtesy of Lobster Films, the Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema, and the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage