×

The Extraordinary Voyage

Technology and infinite patience form the alchemist's stone that turns celluloid dross into cinematic gold in "The Extraordinary Voyage," Serge Bromberg's and Eric Lange's tale of preservation magic.

With:
With: Costa-Gavras, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Michel Gondry, Michel Hazanavicius, Eric Lange, Tom Burton, Nicolas Ricordel. Narrator: Serge Bromberg.

Technology and infinite patience form the alchemist’s stone that turns celluloid dross into cinematic gold in “The Extraordinary Voyage,” Serge Bromberg’s and Eric Lange’s tale of preservation magic. The 12-year restoration of a color version of George Melies’ seminal 1902 masterpiece “A Trip to the Moon” involved long, slow, tedious processes, but Bromberg’s docu, liberally sprinkled with fanciful excerpts from Melies’ surviving works, never bogs down in scientific detail as bits get reassembled and enhanced, frame by frame, fragment by fragment. Skedded to tour worldwide in tandem with the gorgeous new “Moon,” this docu makes a worthy satellite for the main attraction.

Though it chronicles the transference of images in great detail, the docu’s biggest impact lies in the fantastical power of the hand-painted imagery itself and the passion of those committed to its phoenix-like resuscitation. Talking-head duties are assumed by Melies-philes Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Michel Gondry, Michel Hazanavicius and, surprisingly, Costa-Gavras. Co-helmer Eric Lange, appearing in front of the camera, emerges as the print’s obsessed, monomaniacal savior, softening and unspooling badly decomposed silver-nitrate stock in minuscule increments. But fittingly, it is Melies himself, the unsurpassed impresario, who steals the show.

Popular on Variety

The Extraordinary Voyage

France

Production: An MK2 release of a Steamboat Films presentation and production, in co-production with Lobster Films, with the participation of France Televisions. Produced by Serge Bromberg, Marianne Lere. Directed by Serge Bromberg. Co-director, Eric Lange.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Jean-Louis Sonzogni; editor, Janice Jones; music, Bruno Alexiu. Reviewed at Museum of Modern Art, New York, Nov. 11, 2011. Running time: 65 MIN.

With: With: Costa-Gavras, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Michel Gondry, Michel Hazanavicius, Eric Lange, Tom Burton, Nicolas Ricordel. Narrator: Serge Bromberg.

More Film

  • A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

    Film Review: 'A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon'

    No asteroids are hurtling toward Earth in “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon,” though a flying frozen pizza does softly slice the top off an elderly shopper’s hairdo: That’s roughly the level of quirky peril we’re talking about in the latest outing from Aardman Animations, and as usual, the British stop-motion masters cheerfully prove that [...]

  • Slam

    Film Review: ‘Slam’

    The disappearance of a fearless female Palestinian-Australian slam poet triggers suspense and powerful social and political commentary in “Slam,” an outstanding slow-burn thriller by expat Indian filmmaker Partho Sen-Gupta (“Sunrise”). Starring Palestinian actor Adam Bakri (“Omar,” “Official Secrets”) as the missing woman’s conflicted brother, and leading Aussie performer Rachael Blake as a troubled cop, Opening [...]

  • Igo Kantor

    Igo Kantor, Producer and Post-Production Executive, Dies at 89

    Igo Kantor, whose Hollywood career took him from Howard Hughes’ projection room to supervising post-production on “Easy Rider” and producing B-movies like “Kingdom of the Spiders” and “Mutant,” died Oct. 15. He was 89. Kantor, who was born in Vienna and raised in Lisbon, met “Dillinger” director Max Nosseck on the ship to New York. [...]

  • The Lion King

    Average Movie Ticket Price Falls 4% in Third Quarter of 2019

    Average ticket prices for the third quarter have dropped 4% to $8.93, down from Q2’s $9.26, the National Association of Theatre Owners announced today. However, compared with the third quarter of 2018, ticket price has risen 1.1% from $8.83. The summer box office is down 2.13% from 2018, though the third quarter box office is [...]

  • Tilda Swinton to Preside Over The

    Tilda Swinton to Preside Over Marrakech Film Festival

    Tilda Swinton, the iconoclastic British actress and producer, is set to preside over the 18th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival, succeeding to American director James Gray. Swinton, who won an Oscar and a BAFTA award for best supporting actress for “Michael Clayton,” has been leading an eclectic acting career. She has collaborated with [...]

  • The King Netflix

    Middleburg Film Festival Brings Hollywood to Virginia

    For the last seven years, audiences have flocked to the Middleburg Film Festival. Running October 17th – 21st, and situated in the wine-country hills of historic Middleburg, Virg., the festival usually highlights some of the year’s buzziest titles, and 2019 is no exception. “We’re a smaller festival with fewer overall screenings than other events, so we [...]

  • Kelly McCormick and David Leitch'Fast &

    'Wheelman' Director to Helm 'Versus' From David Leitch, Kelly McCormick (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Wheelman” director Jeremy Rush is in negotiations to helm the action movie “Versus,” with Kelly McCormick and David Leitch producing. Rush will direct the Universal movie from a script penned by “Three Musketeers” scribe Alex Litvak and “American Assassin” writer Mike Finch. Plot details are being kept under wraps, though it will follow the genre [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content