French Duo AIR Modernize Legendary Silent Film ‘Le Voyage Dans La Lune’

Le Voyage Dans La Lune  A Trip To The Moon Air New CD

AIR At MoMA Screening En Voyage Dans La Lune

AIR at MoMA photo:Gabi Porter, courtesy EMI

Last night I went to the MoMA for a screening of the legendary 1902 silent film Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To The Moon)  by revered director Georges Méliès with an original score by French duo AIR. The film was originally made in black/white and hand-painted color version, with the color version thought to have been long destroyed after in 1923 Méliès attempted to burn his collection of film negatives. The only known color version was found in Spain in 1993 and the painstaking process of restoring the movie began. Restoration was completed in 2010.

Le Voyage Dans La Lune  A Trip To The Moon Georges Melies Movie Still 3

AIR’s Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel were approached by the two foundations who restored the classic film to compose an original modern soundtrack. With a deadline of only one month AIR worked day and night to create modern sounds for the classic images. A new version of film was born 109 years after the original debut. Inspired by this project AIR returned to the studio and developed a whole album based on Le Voyage Dans La Lune.


Le Voyage Dans La Lune  A Trip To The Moon Georges Melies Movie Still 2

AIR did a wonderful job juxtaposing the film’s cotton candy colors with dark, mysterious, and emotional melodies.

Le Voyage Dans La Lune  A Trip To The Moon Georges Melies Movie Still 5Le Voyage Dans La Lune  A Trip To The Moon Georges Melies Movie Still

AIR At MoMA Screening En Voyage Dans La Lune Q And A

photo: Gabi Porter, courtesy EMI

Then came Q&A with AIR, who explained their appreciation for the psychedelic yet spiritual nature of the film and how they wanted to add modern mystery and darkness.

Dunkel: “With that static, vintage look, our music had to have dynamism, energy and modernity.”

Godin: “We wanted it to sound “handmade,” knocked together, a bit like Méliès’s special effects.”

After the screening  everyone headed to France! …or the closest thing to France in New York, the French Embassy for an after party. Joie de vivre!

Le Voyage Dans La Lune  A Trip To The Moon Georges Melies Movie Still 4

AIR’s new album comes out  February 7th

Special thanks to Lacey Rutter at VH1 for inviting me.

2 thoughts on “French Duo AIR Modernize Legendary Silent Film ‘Le Voyage Dans La Lune’

  1. Pingback: Air release more details on their album “Le Voyage Dans La Lune” « LOFT965.com

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