The Front Row View: A Trip to the Moon & Metropolis

The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro.  He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man.

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Today’s post pays tribute to the glorious beginnings of cinema, specifically science fiction. The first image is one of the most iconic movie images of all time, from George Melies’ phantasmagorical 1902 A Trip to the Moon. Martin Scorcese pays tribute to it in his wonderful 2011 Oscar winner Hugo. Pull up A Trip to the Moon on Youtube–watch the first steps that early movie-makers were taking with the equipment on hand (or with what they had to invent). The second image is of one of the early posters for Fritz Lang’s 1926 Metropolis, a movie event that has to be seen to be believed. Lang used immense crowds, huge sets and groundbreaking photographic effects to achieve what would be handled with clicks of a mouse on a computer today. The advantage of Lang’s vision is that it doesn’t look as if it was achieved on a computer. It looks man-made, which makes it even more amazing. Widely considered the first true science fiction film (the mad scientist’s lab equipment predates the Frankenstein film by several years), nearly 90 years on, Metropolis still has the ability to astound. There are several versions available, but make sure to see the reconstructed version that was recently released.

-JIm

{Editor’s Note:  Originally published by Jim to a separate forum on December 30, 2014}

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