Restored ‘Trip To The Moon’ by Méliès To Debut At Cannes. Awesome.

A restored cut of ‘Trip To The Moon’ is making its own trip to the the Cannes film festival this year. My only lament? They’re stripping it of its silent film glory with some fucking soundtrack.

The Hollywood Reporter:

A must for any film student or special effects lover, the 14-minute space fantasy was adapted by Melies from the work of Jules Verne, and shot in a studio he built in the Paris suburb of Montreuil. Filled with dazzling set pieces and uncanny visual trickery, the most iconic being an image of a rocket ship poking into the moon’s eye, the movie went on to achieve instant success both in France and the U.S.

The massive restoration, budgeted at E400,000 and jointly financed by Serge Bromberg’s Lobster Films (Henri-George Clouzot’s Inferno), the Groupama Gan Foundation and the Technicolor Foundation, began in 1993 when a rare, hand-tinted print was uncovered in Barcelona. In 1999, Lobster began digitizing the footage frame by frame, and over ten years and 13,000 frames later, the film can now be seen in a full-blown color version for the first time since its debut more than a century ago.

Although silent film purists may gasp at the restorers’ choice to add a catchy soundtrack by French electro duo Air (Lost in Translation), Moon should continue its voyage after Cannes to play plenty of fests and film museums before it lands on DVD.

I saw ‘Trip To The Moon’ for the first time in an Intro to World Cinema class that I’m TAing no more than three months ago, and it staggered my ass off its blocks. I was amazed by the bizarre and gorgeous silent film that rocked out with ridiculous stop-motion work from over one-hundred years ago. Méliès was a true pimp, and my only regret is having taken so fucking long to see it. While I anticipate this new restored cut, I’m going to opt to mute the son of a bitch. Yes, I’m a complete hyprocite. How can I champion the Moroder cut of Metropolis while still finding some purist angle to take with this? I’m not sure. Because I’m human or something. (Cop out!)

Still though, interesting, exciting, et cetera.