Wednesday 19 July 2023

Un Matrimonio Interplanetario, A Marriage in the Moon

Not even cosmic space can stand between two lovers! Enrico Novelli produced this rather ambitious romance in 1910. Rich in Mélièsian imagery, Novelli makes ample use of fairy tale style while turning Verne's From the Earth to the Moon into a love story.  

Novelli, also known by the nom de plume Yambo, was already an accomplished writer of children's stories. Among them were Scientific Romances, the best known of which is 1906's Gli esploratori dell’infinito (Explorers of the infinite), in which a pair of journalists hitch a ride aboard a comet for a whirlwind tour of the solar system. 

This short of a Earthling man and Martian woman falling in love through telescope and telegraph is about as far as the Méliès-style Scientific Romance got. It is more technically accomplished than A Trip to the Moon in many respects, including miniature work and stop-motion animation, but still fundamentally "stagey." More cinematically dynamic and realist films were to come in the teens and Twenties. Nevertheless, it is a lovely film in a lovely style on a lovely subject. 

Wednesday 5 July 2023

Six Weeks in the Moon; or, A Trip Beyond the Zenith

Happy Days was a magazine that ran from 1894 to 1924 and published stories very much in the classic "dime novel" vein. The overwhelming number of its stories are of the "boy" type... The pages of Happy Days were replete with boy detectives, boy sheriffs, boy lawyers, boy financiers, boy industrialists, boy rangers, boy miners, boy adventurers, boys going to every corner of the world, boys running off to the circus, and boys before the sail. Rarely, the occasional scientific romance also graced it pages. 

Six Weeks in the Moon; or, A Trip Beyond the Zenith ran in Happy Days from issues 68 to 75, volume III, February 1 through March 21 of 1896. Unfortunately, issues 70, 72, and 73 are lost, cutting out several chapters of the story. What does exist is presented here. Click on the image for a larger version, right click for even bigger.