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
Local

Preachers rail at NYPD at Eric Garner's funeral

Preacher after preacher stepped up to the pulpit at a sweltering Brooklyn church on Wednesday to express fury at the city's police force during the funeral of Eric Garner, who…

Local

Newark schools probed after claims of race discrimination

The U.S. Department of Education said on Wednesday it was investigating complaints that a plan to reorganize public schools in Newark, New Jersey, discriminates against black students.

National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…