Archive for June 12, 2010

Moonage Daydream

Posted in FILM with tags , , on June 12, 2010 by dcairns

JOURNEY TO THE MOON is an Egyptian sci-fi comedy from 1959, kind of a remake of ABBOT AND COSTELLO GO TO MARS (you know, the one where they go to Venus). I sometimes wonder if I’m getting too obscure here, so this should restore my populist touch.

I remember seeing A&CGTM as a kid, and liking the giant cat, which appears very briefly.

Slight problem with an Egyptian lunar exploration movie — would North African audiences be particularly impressed by the lunar deserts in this film, which resemble rather closely the view they could get from their own windows?

Anyhow, this flick has the same rocketship, and stars a guy who looks kind of like Fernandel. He tries very hard to be amusing. But you know that expression, “funnier than shit”? This guy is less funny than shit.

Still, by comparison with the scene where we meet the Lunar army, all disabled and radioactivized in the Atomic War, who are played by genuine amputees, I guess we could say he’s moderately humorous. I wonder which conflict these limp-on players were maimed in? Still, at least this sequence imparts a pacifist, anti-nukes message, and isn’t intended to be mocking the afflicted. It’s pretty strong stuff for a comedy, and when the atomic veterans learn that our heroes traveled by atomic rocket, they confidently predict that our own world will shortly be a desolate rockface soon. Thanks, fellas!

JOURNEY TO THE MOON is probably just as funny as A&CGTM, a black-and-white film which lives in my childhood memories as luminous colour. And I suspect it’s quite a bit more interesting, even without a giant cat.