Customer Review

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Melies The Magician's Most Famed Work, 16 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Melies - A Trip to the Moon (Restored) [DVD] [1902] (DVD)
I'm lightly surprised that this release has no reviews yet, or that (one ad in Sight And Sound aside) I've seen no mention of this release anywhere.

Melies is often called the first special effects director and this is perhaps his most famed piece. It's churlish perhaps to tell those of you who know this film where the greatness lies. For others....perhaps you are only vaguely aware of the work through the iconic moon face, or perhaps you want to see some Melies after seeing Scorsese's stunning Hugo film (or reading the book). If so, please start here - it's Melies 101.

In less than 20 minutes you will see a fantastical tale unfolded, never having looked better and in full colour no less. The restoration of the long-lost colour version is a historical moment in cinema. French band Air have conducted a new score for the film which I think is etheral and perfectly suited. There is a documentary (three times as long as the film itself!) which covers the re-discovery and restoratin of the film. Though there's not a lot to pack the DVD what there is is quality and this release is one that any cinephile should treasure.

If I have any complaints they would be that perhaps this should have been in shops last Christmas when Hugo was in cinemas, it would have been the best time to create awareness. There is a lot more Melies on Region 1 DVD and getting as many sales for this as possible would have been a gateway to future releases. If even a few children who saw Hugo would have wanted this right after seeing it, it would have been worth releasing sooner. Another issue is that in this country we get a standard DVD and nothing else wheras America has a steelbook bluray which looks stunning.

Those quibbles aside, this is film at it's most charming and enchanting. Please support this and hopeuly we will get more Melies and more silent releases in this country.
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Mar 2013 15:31:36 GMT
David Hughes says:
HI David, Thanks for that great review. I did not realise there was a Blu Ray version until reading it - would you say (objectively) that such an edition could give anything more to the 'main feature'? I'd imagine the resolution of the original film would not be up to the mark of DVD let alone Blu Ray, but if that is not the case I'm determined to get hold of the latter!

With thanks

Dave Hughes

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2013 17:34:01 BDT
I'd imagine you're right David, but the packagin was stunnig on the US release too. Still - it's the content that matters and I guarantee you won't be disapointed with this release. I'm a long term fan of Melies and this was a treat and a half. Pleae give us your own review if you buy it,

Best,
Davy

In reply to an earlier post on 20 May 2013 12:40:27 BDT
David Hughes says:
Hi Davy, Thanks for taking the time to reply: you've sold it to me! I'm a great fan of Melies too. Here in Bristol (UK) I went to a special 'live' presentation of the restored footage. There's an organisation here called 'Bristol Silents' who are obsessively passionate about the early days of cinema and put together a wonderful presentation. It was presented complete with real musicians and the original narrative track, which was read out (again 'live') by a well known actor in these parts, Paul McGann. It had the audience giving an unreserved ovation! Absolutely brilliant in every way.

Best,

David

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jul 2013 02:28:30 BDT
Hi David,
Apologies for thre tardiness of my reply! I hope you bought the DVD in the end. I'm quite involved with supporting silent cinema in Glasgow myself, I always buy a ticket for any silent screening. The Passion Of Joan Of Arc with live accompaniment in a cathedral was a highlight! As a big Doctor Who fan I'm very envious of your experience with Paul McGann!

Best
Davy

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jul 2013 10:00:44 BDT
David Hughes says:
HI Davy
No apology needed. Yes, have got the DVD and enjoyed it several times! Are you UK based or US - I thought the latter but noticed your support of silent cinema in Glasgow! The Passion of Joan of Arc performance sounds wonderful! If you are Glasgow UK based and fancied a weekend down south I've just had info on the next 'Slapstick' Festival (http://www.colstonhall.org/whatson/Event3710). [Look at the Colston Hall website for January 2014 if that URL is blocked/deleted by Amazon]. Can't guarantee Paul McGann will be there this time but he is a long time supporter!

Best,

David
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