1910 A Trip To Mars - Thomas Edison
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Published on Mar 21, 2011
This film was produced by Thomas Edison for his Home Kinetoscope in 1910, Many have confused this film with Melies "A Trip To The Moon" and claimed that it is a pirated version of Melies work. (When we first found this film it was listed under Melies' work on the internet movie database) .Nothing could be more wrong - it is totally original and represents The First American Science fiction movie. We scanned 10,000 frames from the original print and reconstructed it. We also added a period sound track. As far as we can determine this is the only existing copy.
Also since posting this film there are those who want to carry the Melies Torch forward in order to degrade Edison himself and the significance of this film by claiming it owes much to Melies . . Yes, this film is a motion picture film, it was made on the planet earth and it deals with space travel. . But that is where the similarity ends. In "A Trip To Mars" an experimenter reaches "Mars" by advanced chemistry, In "A Trip To The Moon" a group of adventurers reach the "Moon" by being shot out of a large gun- both very different modes of travel and equally absurd. Each film then subsequently portrays very different events in very different ways. Melies use of "hoardes" of actors and complicated sets make the action difficult to follow. In order to get them all on camaera , they are reduced to munchkins. Scenes are disjointed and inchoherent. " "Mars" seems to herald elements used in modern adventure films such as that of "The Temple Of Doom", while "Moon" seems to have more in common with films of an artistic and whimsical nature like the "Wizard of Oz", (where real munchkins do appear). both are very different types of film. We experience the action in each film very differently. Because of its coherence and focus, one feels like part of the action in "Mars" In "Moon" we feel more like an amused on looker.
Certainly Melies did not invent the notion of interplanetary space travel. He may have been the first to play with the idea in film, but it it is absurd to claim that he somehow owned the idea going forward or that subsequent film makers owed him deference concerning this very basic and elementary concept - a concept used in other media many years before Melies.
The man Edison, probably had very little to do with the making of any films by his company. Comparing Edison the man with Melies in this manner is a joke. But if we wish to engage in this mindless exercise , then please tell us where the comparison is between a man whose brilliance and work shaped the modern world in innumerable practical ways, with a merely gifted film maker. Melies would not have made any films at all if it were not for Edison. Edison's inventive art allowed another minor art to exist and would surely seem to be the more significant.
If anyone would like to point out some specific sources or evidence demonstrating Edison's unfair treatment of Melies or give specific examples how Edison's movie is beholding to Melies' , then by all means post the evidence.
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