“Laugh, my friends. Laugh with me, laugh for me, because I dream your dreams.”
I doubt you’ve visited Georges Méliès‘ grave recently, so you likely won’t have seen the state of disrepair it is in. There are many that do visit, from across the globe. And with the famous studio and theatre in Paris no longing standing, the grave of Méliès remains the most sacred of spots to honor the great director.
Family and friends of the Méliès legacy have launched a Kickstarter campaign, 26th March until 18 April 2019, in an attempt to fund a restoration of the site. Of course, wear and tear takes its toll over the years, though there is damage to, say, the iron fencing.
Père Lachaise is the Paris’ largest cemetery. Millions of people have visited what is a national tourist attraction. Many famous film folk are also buried here, including Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Frédéric Chopin, Marcel Marceau, Yves Montand, Sarah Bernhardt, and Edith Piaf.
Great-great-granddaughter of Georges Méliès, Pauline Duclaud-Lacoste, is willing to spend years and years preserving his legacy. Méliès was pivotal in some of cinema’s very earliest illusions of the arts, through camera experimentation, photographic trickery, and what we would now tag as special effects. The filmmaker has over 500 films recorded from 1896 to 1912, most of which are sadly gone forever.
The cinema world started talking about Méliès again, with the 2011 release of Hugo, from Martin Scorsese – himself a huge ambassador for film restoration. Hugo, of course, featured the 1902 iconic film, A Trip to the Moon. And now the current ambitious project, which looks to raise in the region of $40,000, hopes to bring Méliès to the limelight ore than ever.