Viewing, A Trip to the Moon in the early 20th Century would have resonated with the audience the same as a modern day blockbuster movie such as Jurassic World. To some one viewing this movie over a hundred years ago when cinema was in its infancy, the screen would have seemed like magic. The use of special effects of the time, such as stop trick, to make objects disappear would have been amazing. Just as spectacular as sitting in an Imax watching a mosasaurus eat a great white shark. While a script would have assisted in allowing the audience to all follow the same story line, having the film score assisted in sharing the story with the audience.
While obviously this movie was a form of fantasy or science fiction, I am sure it inspired a lot of thought around the potential for space travel and lunar landings. I watched a documentary years ago about how science fiction movies predicted things such as laser guns, laptop computers, retinal scans and more. Just like modern science fiction movies do, I am sure this movie stimulated the audience to think about life and living off the planet even though it was purely for entertainment.
To be quite honest, when I saw that we would be watching a silent film, I was not that excited. Being a narrowminded viewer, I always thought a silent film would be so boring and lack the entertainment factor that our movies possess now. Boy was I wrong. I enjoyed watching A Trip to the Moon so much, I’ve watched it multiple times now. Probably because every time I watch it, I see something I missed last time. It is truly the definition of entertaining. Without sound, it still made me laugh, the plot made complete sense throughout the film, and it was a challenge for me because in order to get a feel for what was going on, I had to make sure I was reading facial expressions and body language. I’d start by saying the value that I got out of watching this film was exposure to a different type of film that I would have never thought could be entertaining. This movie has truly opened my eyes and I’m excited to venture out and see what other silent films pique my interest.
I believe when the audience watched this film in 1902, they had some of the same reactions that we have when we go to the theaters now. Being emotionally connected to characters that they are watching due to great acting skills and being enthralled with how the director has set up the movie by way of the set, special effects, transitions and the message.
I’m going to compare A Trip to the Moon to Finch starring Tom Hanks because they are both sci-fi movies. I think both films hit the nail on the head when it comes to the emotional aspect. A silent film made me laugh by way of the actors and actresses using their bodies to convey the message and a new sci-fi release made me connect to the main character because of his vulnerability while acting.
For being a movie from 1902, I didn’t have high expectations,
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