When some people travel they like to micro-manage their itinerary. Me? I leave room for the unplanned. It pays such dividends. Remember Iggy Pop and Chagall in Landerneau last year? Here on our trip to Granada a visit to the Alhambra and skiing in the Sierra Nevada are as dead cert as it can be in an uncertain world. But yesterday I went off piste in terms of tourist plans. There's a travelling exhibit about Georges Méliès in the centre of town. I was intrigued.
Who? Ah, I'd never heard of him either. But I did recognise his work. He was a French film director who, at the turn of the century, produced the first feature length film, a full fifteen minutes long! The promoters thought that an audience wouldn't be able to sit for that length of time but they were mistaken. With its litany of special effects, 'Le Voyage Dans La Lune' was a triumph. A man's face peeping out from a black and white moon made me realise that I was familiar with Méliès' work after all.
I got to watch the whole film which is stunning in its ingenuity. Méliès was an illusionist as well as a filmmaker. The imagery is all the more remarkable considering it was conceived in 1902. It's available on YouTube here for those who are interested.
The exhibit told the tale of such a fascinating life. After huge success Méliès became destitute only to be rescued by a former star of his movies with whom he set up a toy stall on a Paris railway station. It just goes to show. You never know what life is going to throw at you!