The truth behind solar eclipses via The Eclipse: Courtship of the Sun and Moon (1907, dir. Georges Méliès)
The Impossible Voyage (1904, dir. Georges Méliès)
The explorers crash inside the sun, where they fear they will die from the heat. Good thing the flying space train had a giant ice tank!
In The Impossible Voyage (1904, dir. Georges Méliès), a group of intrepid explorers fly into outer space in a rocket-train hybrid, only to accidentally fly straight into the yawning mouth of the rising sun (this film, like most of Méliès’s color films, was hand painted by a team of women in a production-line method - the coloring was done frame by frame)
A Trip to the Moon (1902, dir. Georges Méliès)
“That same evening everything was ready; the crowd was beginning to arrive, the public was crowding in front of the big moon, but the poster, while it made people laugh, was greeted with all kinds of wisecracks. ‘It’s a joke, it’s trickery! Do they think we’re idiots around here? Do you imagine they could have gone to the moon to photograph it? They’re pulling our legs!’ The audiences of that day imagined that it was impossible to photograph anything but real objects.”
-Méliès, on public reaction to his poster for A Trip to the Moon, which featured the scene from the film in which a rocket ship lands on the moon’s eye (via)
Francois Truffaut: Are you in favour of the teaching of cinema in universities?
Alfred Hitchcock: Only on condition that they teach cinema since the era of Méliès and that the students learn how to make silent films, because there is no better form of training. Talking pictures often served merely to introduce the theatre into the studios. The danger is that young people, and even adults, all too often believe that one can become a director without knowing how to sketch a decor, or how to edit.
Truffaut: In your opinion, should a film suggest painting, literature, or music?
Hitchcock: The main objective is to arouse the audience’s emotion and that emotion arises from the way in which the story unfolds, from the way in which sequences are juxtaposed. At times, I have the feeling I’m an orchestra conductor, a trumpet sound corresponding to a close shot and a distant shot suggesting an entire orchestra performing a muted accompaniment. At other times, by using colours and lights in front of beautiful landscapes, I feel I am a painter. On the other hand, I’m wary of literature: a good book does not necessarily make a good film.
-excerpted from Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut & Helen G. Scott
Photographer: George Dodge
Bluebeard (1901, dir. Georges Méliès)
“King Bluebeard turned all the keys of the castle over to his wife, saying, ‘You may go anywhere in the castle, unlock everything, and look at anything you want to, except for one door, to which this little golden key belongs. If you value your life, you are not allowed to open it!’
‘Oh no!’ she said, adding that she surely would not open that door. But after the king had been away for a while, she could find no rest for constantly thinking about what there might be in the forbidden chamber. On the morning of the fourth day, she could no longer resist the temptation, and taking the key she secretly crept to the room, stuck the key into the lock, and opened the door.”
-Charles Perrault, Bluebeard
Georges Méliès (left, standing) as a medium in the lost film Phantom Apparitions (1910, dir. Georges Méliès) (via)
Georges Méliès (far right, standing) with his wife, Eugénie Genin (seated, with hat), and other relatives, circa 1890 (via)