Today, I’ve a bit of a Steampunk history lesson for all of you who may be interested in proto-Steampunk works.
A Trip to the Moon is a 1902 French black and white silent science fiction film. It is based loosely on two popular novels of the time: From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne and The First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells. And while the film obviously came out a long time before Steampunk was even a concept, the film is a mashup of the two most referenced proto-Steampunk writers.
So to explore our roots, let’s watch Georges Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon. As a History major (among other things) I think it’s important to know where Steampunk came from, so we may better understand our present.
A Trip to the Moon was named as one of the 100 greatest films of the 20th century by The Village Voice, ranking in at #84. (For all you film junkies, you can see the complete list here). Also, if you find yourself interested in the beginnings of film making and would like to see more, there is an excellent DVD collection of entire films (read, not just clips) called Landmarks of Early Film. It’s an essential compendium of early cinematography for anyone interested in film.