L’éclipse de soleil en pleine lune
R: Georges Méliès. D: Georges Méliès, Mlle. Bodson, Manuel. P: Star-Film. Fr 1907
“Although Le voyage dans la lune has become Méliès’ most famous film, two further films also deserve a mention: Le voyage à travers l’impossible (1904) and L’éclipse de soleil en pleine lune (1907). (…) While sexual symbolism can be read into these two films, sexuality becomes central in his later L’éclipse de soleil en pleine lune. This is a cheeky little film (…) featuring what appears as a homosexual encounter between an effeminate moon and a devilishly masculine sun. (…) During the ‘eclipse’ the moon covers the face of the sun. The expressions on the face of moon indicate that they are having a sexual encounter and as they part the sun is exposed. Now looking somewhat exhausted the sun goes to sleep. The third section of the film basically consists of series of heavenly bodies hanging precariously in a night sky. Here the performers are draped over representations of stars and moons and the section culminates in a battle between two male bodies over the body of a female moon. This is followed by an orgasmic meteor shower which has been double exposed to reveal the ghostly figures of girls falling from the sky. (…) The sexual symbolism is undeniable in this later film, in which sexual desire is elided with the supposedly reasoned exploits of the scientist. The aspirations of the male technocrat are therefore undercut in the suggestion that it is sexual desire rather than rational science that fuels their ambition.”
Christine Cornea: Science Fiction Cinema. Edinburgh University Press 2007, p. 14-15
Christophe Pavillon wrote on Facebook, 01-02-2018:
“I respectfully disagree… It is now a common trend to see some modern concerns in old movies. I read something similar about the kiss between the 2 main characters of “Wings”, as being the first same-sex kiss in a movie. First, it is not because homesexuality is a concern in 2017 that it was a concern too in 1927. Second, anyone who has watched American silent films from the 20s know that seeing people from the same family kissing each others was very common. For example, before he goes to war, Richard Arlen kisses his mother on the lips. When him and Buddy Rogers kiss each other in the end of the movie, it is just to show their brotherhood.
But Let’s get back to the Méliès movie. First, I don’t know where the author read / heard / saw that the Moon and the Sun were two masculine characters ?! In French, we say LA lune (meaning the Moon is feminine) and LE soleil (meaning the Sun is masculine). Consequently, there is NO WAY the Moon could be masculine in a Méliès movie !
Second, anyone who knows about Méliès life knows that he was a womanizer. When he was married to his first wife, Eugénie Génin, he had at least two lovers : Jehanne d’Alcy (who became his second wife) and Bleuette Bernon. I don’t see how and why he could have been thinking about introducing any homosexual aspect in one of his movies… For he was highly attracted by women only.
Third, Méliès was a theatre owner, a magician, and he created his spectacles for only one reason : make people dream, and impress the audience. His movies, and their innocence proove it, are first degree movies. There is nothing hidden, no message, no intellectual concern. The only secrets are the special effects he developped…”
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