Georges Méliès, Air and La Voyage Dans La Lune

As this is technically a CD issue, and not a DVD or Blu-ray it’s release date passed by our radar. We were planning on celebrating Georges Méliès’ La Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To The Moon)   upon the release of both the Lobster films and Flicker Alley Blu-ray releases in a couple of weeks time, and still are, but in the meantime we thought that this was worth bringing to attention.

Virgin Records have released a DVD of the film in a double-pack with a CD containing last years score by Franco electronica duo Air, and, controversially perhaps, we kind of really like it. Well the juxtaposition of modern musical accompaniment is nothing new, some might argue that it is a combination still tainted by the dreaded Moroder cut of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, which was probably the last time such a wide-scale reworking of a score was made public. Having screened this version of the film to a receptive audience we can say with absolute conviction that it plays well to a crowd, with the soundtrack complimenting the work appropriately, and never overwhelming the actual visuals. The CD includes the extended version of the score, which runs to just over 30 minutes, almost double the length of the actual film. 

La Voyage Dans La Lune is presented in its colorised version, and is the result of an eleven-year restoration project, with said results little short of miraculous considering the condition in which the source print was found. The film looks beautiful, and, at last, definitive. It genuinely boggles the mind to think that in this, its colorised form, Méliès film was still considered to be ‘lost’ as recently as only 20 years ago. 

The combination of contemporary music and the work of Méliès bring to mind the Smashing Pumpkins, and the Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris-directed promo video for the track ‘Tonight, Tonight’, which, prior to Martin Scorsese and the Hugo parade was pretty much La Voyage Dans La Lune was so keenly in the public eye. The Scorsese film is released on home video next month, and this package is the ideal accompaniment. 

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