The Smashing Pumpkins & Steampunk

In 1995, American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins released their third album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness from whence came the popular song “Tonight, Tonight.” The song was released in April 1996 in Europe and later in June 1996 in the United States, and regardless of whether you like the band there is no denying that the music video to accompany this song has a very distinct steampunk quality.

The video is an homage to Georges Méliès’s 1902 silent science fiction classic Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) which was inspired by Jules Verne’s novels From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon. The silent film depicts a group of astronomers who travel to the Moon in a cannon-propelled capsule, explore the Moon’s surface, escape from an underground group of Selenites (lunar inhabitants), and return with a splashdown to Earth with a stowaway Selenite. Méliès himself plays the main role of Professor Barbenfouillis. 

As a side note, it is worth noting that umbrellas are the quintessential steampunk weapon and accessory . . . did you see how it is useful for moon landings AND is deadly to moon men with just one tap?!

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