See the moving picture

FIGURE 8.3

A Trip through Contiguous Outer Spaces

Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon)

Georges Méliès, Star-Film, France, 1902

From the point at which the capsule tips over the lunar precipice to start on its downward trip back to earth (1) until the time it descends to the ocean floor (4), the directional continuity maintained by the four-shot sequence, which follows the capsule through outer space (2) to the moment at which it plunges into the sea (3), is quite logical. Given Méliès’ ostensible lack of concern with the amount of time consumed by the trip (or, rather, the fall), there’s no reason to link the four shots by dissolves which, to the modern spectator, suggest lapses of time. Direct cuts would have provided stronger visual confirmation of the intended contiguity of the four spatial areas through which the action transpires.

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