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:
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.