Stream a documentary about the cinematic landmark ‘A Trip to the Moon’ right here

A colorized version of Georges Meilies' "A Trip to the Moon" was discovered in 1993. Credit: Flicker Alley
A colorized version of Georges Meilies’ “A Trip to the Moon” was discovered in 1993.
Credit: Flicker Alley

As anyone who saw Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” knows, French filmmaker Georges Melies churned out hundreds of wondrous, magical films during the infancy of cinema. Many — in fact, most — of them have been lost. But his 1902 space opus “A Trip to the Moon” not only survived but has thrived, becoming one of the oldest and most exciting films to marry narrative with special effects. Its history is detailed in “Extraordinary Voyage,” a fascinating, loving documentary you can stream right here:

One thing the documentary reveals is that the film was lucky two times: First that any copy survived at all, and second that another version of the film was discovered in 1993. Among a pile of hundreds of film reels donated anonymously to a Spanish archive was a hand-colored version of the film. It was not in good shape. Like many from the era, it had been neglected, allowed to rot in a musty film can. It was still better than some: about 90% of films made before 1929 are missing utterly. That it existed in any form at all was a blessing.

“Extraordinary Voyage” gives you a history of Melies’ film. But it’s the salvation effort that’s the most transfixing. The film pores over people stitching the film into a viewable shape via computers, digitally adding missing portions of individual frames — some of which are missing almost entirely — by inserting footage from the black-and-white version, then colorizing them to create the version that came be seen today. It’s exciting and moving watching history be reclaimed, even if it leaves you wondering what will become of our digital age. Celluloid film can decay or be burned (as “Inglorious Basterds” took the time to note, it’s highly, highly flammable). But digital work can be wiped out with a single keystroke. Back up your stuff.

To watch more films on our site, go here.

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter at @mattprigge


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Local

Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham…

On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham's mother joined elected leaders to ask the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his death.

Local

Muslim leaders welcome NYPD surveillance changes with degree…

Leaders and advocates praise the NYPD's move to shut down a unit tied to its Muslim surveillance program but say there's more left to do.

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

Masahiro Tanaka dominates Cubs over eight shutout innings

Masahiro Tanaka certainly had no-hit caliber stuff Wednesday as he allowed just two bunt singles.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.