Features

Short Film of the Day: A Trip to the Moon (1902)

Why Watch? Because it’s the first science fiction film ever made.

Co-writing with his brother Gaston, Georges Méliès produced, directed, and starred in this enduringly brilliant short that features clever innovations in special effects and a unique style created by blending live-action with a very specific type of animation.

Most know that it was the inspiration for the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight” music video (and my stalker knows it as the inspiration for one of my tattoos), but the most fascinating fact outside the film itself is that it was one of the earliest victims of film piracy.

Méliès had already been making short films for years before A Trip to the Moon, and he saw the United States as a ticket to monetary success that would be cashed by this popular, science fiction dream. Unfortunately, Thomas Edison had his cronies make copies of the film in order to play it around the country – severely injuring Méliès’s ability to make money from his own work. The story and the story of Méliès’s life don’t have happy endings.

Clearly, stealing movies is just as old as movies themselves.

What does it cost? Just 10 minutes of your time.

Check out A Trip to the Moon for yourself:

A TRIP TO THE MOON (1902)

Trust us. You have time for more short films.

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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