Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Baroque Enchantement

Even when an idea seems to be complete in itself, it has a history and a future and is, therefore, intertwined in something much larger than it seems at first glance. 

Take, for instance, the movie Le voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon), written and directed by Georges Méliès. Presented only 6 years after the famous projection by the Lumière brothers, it is an important milestone in cinema's history for it seems to be the first movie where special effects have been used to transpose in images the whimsical vision of the creator. Back then, the style was called "baroque féérique" in French, which I might clumsily translate by "enchanted baroque", a jonction between our modern fantastic and science fiction.

Watching this video leaves me a little time confused: even though it does not present a realistic 1902's vision of the future, I still feel that a director from the past projects me forwards, but to a time that is still behind mine (are you now confused with me?). Even though the movie was interesting when it was first presented, I  think theses time gaps definitively enhance the astonishment inspired by this immersion in the imagination the creator.

As all art pieces, Méliès' movie was not born from nothingness: among other things, the scenario has been mainly inspired by H.G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon and Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon. Of course, this did not keep it from being innovative and to subsequently inspire other artists.  

Then, 94 years after its debut, Le voyage dans la lune inspired a music video for The Smashing Pumpkins' Tonight Tonight, which won many awards and is still considered among the best music videos ever made. And the loop is not looped, as the inspiration game continues...

The Smashing Pumpkins - Tonight, Tonight par EMI_Music

(Near the end of the song, have you noticed the name of the boat rescuing the couple?)

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