GASTON MÉLIÈS AND HIS WANDERING STAR FILM COMPANY

LE VOYAGE CINÉMATOGRAPHIQUE DE GASTON MÉLIÈS DANS LES MERS DU SUD

By Raphaël MILLET

NOCTURNES PRODUCTIONS - as PROD

Documentary - Completed 2015

In 1912-1913, movie pioneer Gaston Méliès undertook a ten-month long trip around Asia-Pacific, being one of the first to shoot fictions on location in Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, Java, Singapore and Cambodia.

    • Year of production
    • 2015
    • Genres
    • Documentary, Art - Culture, Historical
    • Countries
    • FRANCE, SINGAPORE
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH, FRENCH
    • Budget
    • 0 - 0.3 M$
    • Duration
    • 60 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Raphaël MILLET
    • Writer(s)
    • Raphaël MILLET
    • Producer(s)
    • Olivier BOHLER (NOCTURNES PRODUCTIONS)
    • Synopsis
    • In 1912-1913, Gaston Méliès, brother of Georges Méliès, undertook a ten-month long trip around Asia-Pacific. While Georges was making imaginary trips in his Montreuil studio, Gaston was travelling for real to the most remote places. Boarding an ocean liner in San Francisco with his wife Hortense and a team of about 15 collaborators, he journeyed to Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, Java, Singapore, Cambodia, and finally Japan. During this transoceanic adventure, Gaston Méliès shot no less than 64 movies, either documentaries or fictions, of which only a few have survived. Some of them were among the first ones ever filmed on location in Polynesia, Java, Singapore, and Cambodia. Moreover, Gaston Méliès, very much ahead of its time in that matter, was the first filmmaker to give fiction roles to Tahitians, Maoris, Aborigines and Cambodians. He died shortly after, in France in 1915, quickly falling into oblivion, as the world was engulfed in World War I. On the occasion of the centenary of his death, this documentary finally pays tribute to this long-forgotten pioneer of the last days of early cinema, while taking the few surviving images of his voyage as an opportunity to reflect upon questions of alterity, identity and representation.
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