A Space Travel Fantasy from Italy

Matrimonio interplanetario
R: Enrico Novelli. B: Enrico Novelli. P: Latium Film, Roma. It 1910
Print: Cineteca del Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Torino

“According to Paolo Bertetti, writing on the website Fantascienza, Matrimonio Interplanetario is one of a very few Italian films of this era dealing with the topic of space travel. Bertetti also mentions a series of films produced for Cines in Rome by French director Gaston Velle, which included Viaggio a una Stella | Voyage to a Star (1906), a remake/self-plagiarism of his film Voyage autour d’une étoile of the same year. The only other known silent Italian space travel film is Un viaggio nella luna | A Trip to the Moon of 1921, a now-lost animated film produced by Lilliput-Film of Rome.(…)
Matrimonio interplanetario is clearly much influenced by Méliès – the production design is very reminiscent of his classic space films Le voyage dans la lune (FR 1902) and Le voyage à travers l’impossible (FR 1904); the films of Segundo De Chomón, Ferdinand Zecca, and Gaston Velle are also reference points. Matrimonio Interplanetario was directed by Enrico Novelli (pseudonym: Yambo), who two years earlier had published a science fiction novel, ‘La colonia lunare’ | ‘the Lunar Colony’, which was a source of inspiration for this film.(…)
Denis Lotti of the University of Padua has written an essay that explores the relationship between this book and the film, particularly the chapter ‘I promessi sposi lunari’ | ‘The Lunar Betrothal’. An interesting point that Lotti makes is, that while Interplanetario matrimonio is far from being a Futurist work, some aspects of the film can be connected to the concepts idealized by the Futurists; he mentions the alphabet animation of the wireless transmission in relation to the Futurists’ ideas about the deconstruction of language.”
Silents, Please!

>>> Méliès’ films here: Méliès: Attraction and Narration

>>> Gaston Velle: Jules Verne and Gaston Velle