Does that thing Fritz Lang films always do to me: I notice that every shot goes on for absolutely ever, yet am never bored, and the film doesn't feel as long as it really was. Then, afterwards, when I want to explain why I loved it so much, I come up short, because when you talk about it it sounds lame as hell. I love you, Fritz Lang!
Lang, the great pessimist and the great romantic. Death and love always go hand to hand in his work and it's no wonder that in a scenario of utter void and loneliness (the moon) the left for dead protagonist (after chaos hits the group of astronauts - and groups always stand for fascism in Lang) finds after all that his object of desire - a woman - has stayed with him. Eros meets Tanatos, the woman meets the moon.
Woman in the Moon contains Lang's usual stylistic hallmarks, which are always gratifying. However, I could have done without the inordinate melodrama, which seemed to make the elements of space opera more awkward than epic. The garish sets were entertaining and quintessential to German Expressionism. It's worth a look for hardcore Lang fans such as myself, but don't expect anyone else to take much out of this film.
What follows a pretty engrossing and intriguing first half kind of devolves into a second half that leaves one in disbelief at the amout of logic thrown to the wind, and I'm not talking about the travel to and exploration of the moon - that sense of fantasy can be digested, granted the time from which the film came - but rather the emotional and psychological dynamics amid the characters, really leaves one at a loss.
This film is often cited as the first occurrence of the "countdown to zero" before a rocket launch (Wikipedia). IMHO this may be the very first film that uses the cliche of showing the woman leaving bus or plane that she was meant to board just in the next scene.
200 minutes that pass like the wind. Fritz Lang doesn't use travellings but he sure does know how to fill the frame of his shots. I particularly liked the man who manages to change his face thanks to an ultra quick massage/movement (maybe an allusion to Hitler and his double face, I don't know) and the golf trousers of the heroin ready to embark to the moon. Highly recommended.