Over 100 years ago, when movies were still new, the main type were “Actualities.” These ranged from footage of waves crashing into the shore, or “travelogues” which were shots of various cities from around the world. Those who made these were the realists. Yet, there was one man who saw a new way to make movies. To create dreams. That man was Georges Melies, and he created the formalists.
Now, for all of you who have seen Hugo, you may skip this paragraph. Melies was a stage magician. When he discovered the movie camera, he started making movies instead. All of them were fantastical voyages and adventures. World War I ruined him, and his films were destroyed and lost in time. Few remain today compared to the over 500 he made during his prime years.
His most famous work, A Trip to the Moon, has been spoofed and referenced dozens of times since it came out in 1902(!!!!). It is about a group of astronomers who go to the moon and explore it. What is most amazing about this movie, is that nobody knew what was actually up there. In the film there are caves and monsters; which, as far as we know, isn’t true.
The movie, which is about 12 minutes long, is available on youtube and I will be posting the link below. So, if you want to see one of the first fictional films, one that was full of wonder at the time, and still has some amazement to it, spare the 12 minutes and check it out.