A History of Screenwriting – 30 in a series – The Eclipse: The Courtship of the Sun and Moon (George Méliès, 1905)

A History of Screenwriting – 30 in a series – The Eclipse: The Courtship of the Sun and Moon (George Méliès, 1905) 

A History of Screenwriting - 30 in a series - The Eclipse: The Courtship of the Sun and Moon (George Méliès, 1905)

A professor of astronomy 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 has been remarked upon for its overt sexual symbolism.[1][2] 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.[1]

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,[2][3] with an “effeminate” Moon being seduced by an “devilishly masculine” Sun.[1] 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.[4] — Wikipedia



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I teach several classes for the Stephens College Low-Residency MFA in Screenwriting, including History of Screenwriting. In fact, I created the curriculum for that course from scratch and customized it to this particular MFA in that it covers ‘Screenwriting’ (not directors) and even more specifically, the class has a female-centric focus.  As part History of Screenwriting I, the first course in the four-class series, we focus on the early women screenwriters of the silent film era  who male historians have, for the most part, quietly forgotten in their books. In this series, I share with you some of the screenwriters and films that should be part of any screenwriters education. I believe that in order  to become a great screenwriter, you need to understand the deep history of screenwriting and the amazing people who created the career. — Dr. Rosanne Welch

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