Georges Méliès: His Influence on Popular Culture

It’s impressive how much influence Georges Méliès has had on popular culture over the past 100 years. When he first made his films, many filmmakers simply copied his ideas, often to the point of plagiarizing them. After his death, his images continued to inspire many different kinds of artists. Here are a few of the more direct ways Méliès has continued to have an impact:

Several minutes of A Trip to the Moon (1902) were featured in the introduction to To Around the World in 80 Days in 1956, and of course several minutes is a big chunk of the movie:

 

The lovely video for Tonight, Tonight by Smashing Pumpkins was also heavily influenced by Méliès:

 

The nostalgia evoked by the floating Méliès images in Queen’s Heaven for Everyone suits the bittersweet tone of the video and song:

 

Recently, Méliès has received a great deal of attention due to his inclusion in the graphic novel/novel hybrid The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick and the film of the story, Hugo (2011), directed by Martin Scorsese. I adore the mysterious, engrossing book. The film did not capture my imagination as much, but I thought it was a beautiful tribute to Méliès and early film.

Here’s the book trailer for Selznick’s book,(this is the first time I have ever heard of a book trailer). It’s actually an interview with the author with a lot of great shots of the book’s illustrations:

 

Here’s the trailer for the film Hugo (2011). I think Asa Butterfield was the perfect actor to play the title role. His sad, intense eyes just about broke my heart:

 

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