The Eclipse, or the Courtship of the Sun and the Moon
|The Eclipse: Courtship of the Sun and Moon|
|Directed by||Georges Méliès|
|Running time||9 min.|
A professor of astronomy (Georges Méliès) gives a lecture instructing on an impending solar eclipse. The class rushes to an observation tower to witness the event, which features an anthropomorphic Sun and Moon coming together. The Moon and the Sun lick their lips in anticipation as the eclipse arrives, culminating in a romantic encounter between the two celestial bodies. Various heavenly bodies, including planets and moons, hang in the night sky; a meteor shower is depicted using the ghostly figures of girls. The professor of astronomy, shocked by all he has witnessed, topples from the observation tower.
The Eclipse: Courtship of the Sun and Moon has been remarked upon for its overt sexual symbolism. Christine Cornea posits that the film's primary theme, the clash of scientific logic with sexual desire, was also evident in Méliès' earlier films A Trip to the Moon and The Impossible Voyage, and would become a prominent in many subsequent science-fiction films.
Some scholars, interpreting the Sun and the Moon to be both male, have described the erotic "eclipse" as an early depiction of homosexuality in cinema, with an "effeminate" Moon being seduced by an "devilishly masculine" Sun. By contrast, Méliès's film catalogue describes the liaison in heterosexual terms, referring to the participants as "the man in the sun" and "dainty Diana" and using pronouns to match.
- Cornea, Christine (2007), Science fiction cinema: between fantasy and reality, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, p. 14
- O'Donoghue, Darragh (July 2004), "Great Directors: Georges Méliès", Senses of Cinema, retrieved 8 March 2014
- Jess-Cooke, Carolyn (2009), Film sequels: theory and practice from Hollywood to Bollywood, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, p. 20
- Méliès, Georges (1905), Complete Catalogue of Genuine and Original "Star" Films, New York: Geo. Méliès, p. 135, retrieved 13 February 2014
- The Eclipse: Courtship of the Sun and Moon at the Internet Movie Database
- The Eclipse: Courtship of the Sun and Moon is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
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