Movie Mountain (Méliès) explores the residue of cinema and social terrain around the site of a mountain in the Chihuahua Desert in West Texas named Movie Mountain. According to local residents, this mountain near the border town of Sierra Blanca is named Movie Mountain because a silent film was shot there in the early 1900s. Searching for the origin of the mountain’s name, Hubbard/Birchler embarked on a journey traversing the landscape of early silent-era film production.
Through their investigations, Hubbard/Birchler uncovered a peculiar possible relationship between Movie Mountain and Gaston Méliès, the lesser known brother and business partner of the famous filmmaker George Méliès. In April 1911, Gaston Méliès relocated his struggling movie company from San Antonio, Texas to California. He departed with his film crew and actors aboard the Sunset Express Train, taking a route that stopped in Sierra Blanca, which at that time was the railroad’s pivotal gateway junction to the West Coast. The artists’ research suggests that during this voyage, Méliès and his company interrupted their travel and got off the train to film a movie.