Monday, October 04, 2004
Films that were enjoyed and disliked
The DVD The Movies Begin by Kino video is a testament to the early beginnings of film history. The series outlines man's earliest attempts to create visual representations of the world around them, with great success. There are many short films on the disc that range from real events to staged minute long "stories." There are some films that are enjoyable on levels of artistic creativity, while others lack motivation and are tedious (despite their short length).
The film that sticks out most in terms of creativity is Georges Melies' A Trip To The Moon (1902). This film chronicles the short but adventure filled flight of men to the moon. They make a large steel vessel, and travel to the moon where they encounter hostile alien beings. The film gave early audiences the fantasy of what was at the time impossible. This was primarily because of the use of special effects and a creative set design. This happened to be the result of Melies' work as a magician. He also made use of editing to aid in his visual interpretation, making the audience believe that the aliens mysteriously evaporated after being hit with an umbrella. Melies also created a structure that was comprehensible. A simple venture into space; aliens and danger; escape to earth. This seemed to represent the three-act structure comparable to today's films. All these elements created a landscape most audiences had never envisioned.
Another short film that warrants mention for simple creativity yet has underlying political tones is Ferdinand Zecca's The Golden Beetle (1907). This film uses special effects as its main draw, showing a man enticed, then killed by a beautiful woman (beetle). Color tints on the film gave it an unusual look, as the woman appears to have an aura of gold around her body. The film's climax sees the demise of the man in a fiery death. This was most... [continues]
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