Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Trip to Mars

A Trip to Mars; silent science-fiction short, USA, 1910; D: Ashley Miller

A scientist discovers antigravity and makes a few experiments: all the things he applies his invention on, fly away from the table. Finally, he tries his invention on himself, and flies away to Mars. There he meets a strange forest and a giant elf. Finally, the scientist returns back to Earth.

Not much was going on during the early cinema, as is shown in Ashley Miller's 5 minute short "A Trip to Mars" that did not exploit all the film possibilities - editing, style, camera - except for a few neat special effects, or the narrative possibilities, obvious in the very brief and fragmented story, making this a not very memorable achievement. The storyline seems to be inspired by Melies' better thought out "A Trip to the Moon", and follows the naive repertoire of the latter (a scientist flies away to the Mars; the hero is seen on the palm of the hand of a giant Martian "elf"), yet it is easily watchable and is the first movie depicting the human trip to Mars.


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