This Day in History – September 2nd, 1902

Georges MélièsHave you seen Guardians of the Galaxy? Or should we ask, how many times have you seen it? Awesome isn’t it? Has it restored your faith in science fiction movies? It’s a film genre that celebrates its 112th birthday today, as this day in 1902 film pioneer Georges Méliès released what is considered to be the very first science fiction movie . . . Le Voyage dans la Lune, also known as A Trip to the Moon.

The film borrows a lot from Jules Verne‘s novels From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon, and H.G. Well’s First Men in the Moon. The film follows 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 captive Selenite. It features an ensemble cast of French theatrical performers, led by Méliès himself in the main role of Professor Barbenfouillis, and is filmed in the overtly theatrical style for which Méliès became famous.

In 1996, the film was also the inspiration for the American rock band Smashing Pumpkins’ music video for the song “Tonight, Tonight.

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