Directed by Wes Anderson (USA, 2009, 88 min.). Digital.
Set in the British countryside during the autumn harvest, Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animated adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel is steeped in the warm orange tones of Halloween candy wrappers, secondhand sofas, and amply lapeled corduroy blazers, stirring up feelings of mischief and nostalgia. After 12 years of married bliss, the titular trickster (George Clooney) breaks a promise to his wife (Meryl Streep) by raiding the farms of their human neighbors, Boggis, Bunce, and Bean. Giving in to his animal instincts endangers not only his marriage but also the lives of his family and their animal friends. When the farmers force Mr. Fox and company deep underground, he has to resort to his natural craftiness to outwit the bloodthirsty rubes.
Preceded by: A Trip to the Moon
Directed by George Méliès (France, 1902, 16 min.) 35mm. Live musical accompaniment provided by Animal Hospital.
In 1902, pioneer magician and filmmaker Georges Méliès released his masterwork, the science fiction fantasy A Trip to the Moon. Inspired by a wide variety of sources, including Jules Verne’s novels, the film follows a group of astronomers who travel to the Moon in a cannon-propelled capsule and return with a captive lunar inhabitant. Always a performer at heart, Milies wanted to amplify the film’s “shock and delight” factor by infusing it with vivid color. He sent some of the prints to the Paris coloring lab of Elisabeth Thuillier, a former colorist of glass and celluloid products who now directed a studio of two hundred people. These employees painted directly on film stock with brushes in the colors Thuillier chose and specified. Each worker was assigned a different color in assembly line style, with more than twenty separate colors often used for a single film. The result of this painstaking process was an other-worldly cinematic fantasia that enchanted audiences and still remains one of the most famous early films.
Once believed lost, a copy of the original, hand-colored version of Georges Méliès’ masterwork A Trip to the Moon was miraculously found in Barcelona, Spain in 1993. Initially thought too fragile to restore, the film underwent one of the most complex and ambitious film restoration projects ever. Three experts in film restoration – Lobster Films, Groupama Gan Foundation, and Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage – used the most advanced digital technologies available to assemble and painstakingly restore the film’s 13,375 fragmented frames. Thanks to the hard work of these technicians, you can now enjoy A Trip to the Moon at the MFA as it was meant to be seen: in vibrant color, on 35mm film, and with a live score.
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