A lot of movie special effects don’t age very well. There’s also one that’s held up for 110 years. A Trip to the Moon was released on September 1st, 1902, and the 14-minute sci-fi epic was quickly acclaimed as a wild cinematic experience. The primitive special effects actually looked great, thanks to director Georges Méliès making great use of his background as a magician. Méliès even managed to create one of cinema’s earliest iconic images–that being the Man in the Moon getting a space capsule right in the eye. It’s a pretty amazing (if primitive) effect, and you can find it at the six-minute mark in the movie.
That imagery has been getting a recent revival, too. The novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret featured Méliès as a character. Famed director Martin Scorsese made sure he paid tribute to Méliès’ creativity by including footage from A Trip to the Moon when he adapted the novel for the big screen as Hugo. You can also find Trip footage in the Queen music video of “Heaven for Everyone”–although, in addition to the complete film below, we’ve added the video for Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight Tonight,” which looked pretty cool back in 1996 as an updating of Méliès. So enjoy some innovative set design and wild imagination that’s holding up great after 110 years–but it might take some of the fun out of your next trip to the multiplex…