One of the presents that I got for my 30th was that rather bestselling tome with the guilt-inducing title, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.  Granted, a few of them I’ve already seen (especially late 90s, early 2000s, which I was impressed with).  Did anyone else out there see Underground and The Sweet Hereafter and The Kingdom? But still, 1001 is a bit of a challenge.

Anyway, I don’t know that I’ll ever get around to all of them.  (I’ve got a lot of stuff to do already, and who knows when I’m going to die.)  But I can give it a crack.  And I quite enjoy silent film, so I was happy to start at the beginning of the book (the films are listed in alphabetical order) and start there.

Well, this first film is so short, that it was rather easy to track down on YouTube.  You can watch it in two parts here:

and here:

I was originally thinking for the first couple of minutes that this whole thing was a bit cheap and tacky.  But then I started to be gobsmacked by the special effects.  They’re nothing to write home about by today’s standards, but they were far more advanced than I would have given credit for in 1902.  And when everybody’s favourite sci-fi cliches entered (a crash landing, and vicious space monsters), I couldn’t help but being rather amazed at what these guys managed to do.  After all, aren’t we still making movies with almost an exact storyline?

3 out of 5.

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2 thoughts on “Film Review: A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage Dans La Lune)

  1. Just a cautionary word, Matt … a friend of mine received the book version of your birthday present (that is “1001 Books you must read before you die”) and ended up getting so depressed at all the wonderful books she hadn’t read, and would never get time to read, that she had to give the book away!! It is something I do think about from time to time, too – the many, many great classic books that I have never read; the many, many great classic movies that I have never seen; the many great classic pieces of music that I have never heard, or have only heard in passing. I suspect no one is ever going to write a “1001 government memos you must write before you die”, or “1001 accounts you must process before you die” and yet somehow that seems to be where so much of our energies go! We do have the balance wrong, somehow, don’t you think?

  2. Oh I agree . . . If somebody had given me the 1001 Books, I think I would have flipped out.

    1001 movies is managable (after all, David Stratton writes in the forward that he’s kept a track of every movie he’s seen since age 9 and he’s seen 21,792 as at the date of the book going into print), but only just. 1001 classical music recordings would be managable, but really I think everyone should develop their own set of classical CDs, and they’ll soon work out what they do and do not love.

    But you’re definitely right about energies. I tried an interesting experiment a few weeks ago. I was always feeling tired and lethargic a lot of the time, so I decided to see if I could change my habit of getting to bed late.

    So for the last five or six weeks, I’ve been stopping everything at 9.45, lighting candles around the house (not for any great ritual reason – they’re just dimmer and they don’t keep you awake like electric lights) and then getting into bed by 10.30.

    Astonishingly, as well as the fact that I’m feeling more alert – I’m much more philosophical about life as well. I know that I’ve only got x amount of hours of awake time per day – so I’ve got to use them as well as I can.

    So it makes me far more fussy about what book I start reading, what DVD I watch, what music I listen to, what I do on the internet, etc. It’s been quite interesting.

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