This program is essentially three straightforward short films combined in one package: There's an hour-long documentary that tells the story of French film pioneer George Méliès and his most famous film. It details how the magic-loving Méliès invented movie special effects in the 1890s, made early cinema's greatest and grandest hit, "A Trip to the Moon," in 1902, and soon after, slid into obscurity as the burgeoning industry went in new directions. The second half of the doc recounts the 1993 discovery of a rare hand-colored print of "A Trip to the Moon." The film stock was heavily damaged, and its restoration — fascinatingly recounted here — took nearly 20 years.
Lastly, we see the result: the 16-minute "Trip," now in color, as never seen by modern audiences. A hundred years ago, "Trip," drawing from the novels of Jules Verne, set the template for modern sci-fi movies: Earthlings take a rocket to outer space for scientific study, whereby they confront freaky beings. It also presaged actual space exploration.
Co-directors Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange tell the story of Méliès and his legacy by employing clips from his work (including films Méliès made of his studio) and interviews with contemporary filmmakers Costa-Gavras, Michel Gondry and Tom Hanks, among others. In English, and French, with subtitles. Mon., June 18, through Thu., June 21. Regent Square CP Approved