He tried a long time before imagining a trip to the moon before Kubrick and any spatial plan of the U.S.A., in 1902 the French George Melies with Trip to the Moon. Cinema was born in France. The first director to understand that after the scene of the train of the Lumière brothers the cinema had to go in the direction of the unusual because it was a new technique that created a parallel reality.
Melies worked as an actor and illusionist and had the idea of reproducing his illusions in virgin cinema, a new means of communication. He imagined crashing a rocket into the moon, greatly disturbing the public, because the moon was the seat of Aristotelian perfection, on which no one had yet been, and therefore was fully part of science fiction (science fiction, a term inaugurated by Frankenstein’s novel by Mary Shelley). The absurdity of the crash on the moon paradoxically seemed credible, and the viewer could accept it.
The moon itself could be touched thanks to its materiality of homemade effect and the absence of special computerized effects. The cinema was born as the place where the absurd could be shown and even accepted both aesthetically and in terms of content as in Lynch’s Elephant man (and his other works).
If you want to see the complete film of Geroge Melies Trip to the Moon with video explanation in English click here.
If you want to see the same film reinterpreted by me with a new soundtrack click here.
This film, also cited in the film Hugo Cabret, summarizes the meaning of science fiction: the imagination and the ability of man to do impossible things. True in science fiction as a genre. In the specific case, the man, after fifty-nine years from that film, managed to land on the moon.