Georges Méliès. A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la lune). 1902
Georges Méliès

A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la lune)

1902
Not on view
Medium
35mm film (black and white and hand-colored, silent)
Duration
11 min.
Object number
3035
Copyright
© 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Department
Film

A Trip to the Moon is a satire in which the innate conservatism of the scientific community is overcome by the convictions of a lone charismatic figure (played by the filmmaker himself). This one-reel film spared no effect or expense in bringing to life Méliès's intensely personal vision. Astronauts prepare for a rocket-launching, take off, land on the moon (hitting it in the eye), and finally splash down back on earth.

Perhaps the greatest tribute paid to Méliès by his peers was the fact that, rather than attempting to duplicate the marvels contained in A Trip to the Moon, they simply stole it and released it under their own names, particularly in the United States. Méliès produced hundreds of films over the next decade. He had been a renowned magician and showman, who first became fascinated with projected images when he incorporated magic lanterns (early slide projectors) into his stage presentations at the Théâtre Robert-Houdin in Paris. Inspired by the work of the Lumière brothers, Méliès went on to build Europe's first true film studio, at Montreuil, and began to make films indoors in a stagelike space with artificial lighting. He produced action shorts, fictional tales, and spectacles; but he was most successful with his fantasy works, the most famous of which is A Trip to the Moon.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 49

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Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource