Monday, October 15, 2007

'In the Shadow of the Moon' is a documentary worth seeking out

'In the Shadow of the Moon' is a new documentary that tells the story of the Apollo moon missions and includes new interviews with many of the astronauts who are still alive. The film was beautifully made and the first-person accounts of the astronauts bring a lot of flavor to it.

A well-made documentary is often more entertaining than the big-budget films Hollywood produces. After all, films are nothing more than storytelling, but sometimes the makers of big-budget films think they have to 'Wow!' us with a lot of spectacular effects. Not so. All I want is compelling subject matter that is told well.

And this film tells its story very well. Other than the astronaut interviews, the film's best aspect is that it relies on archival footage from NASA, the major television networks, and other sources to tell the story. Using footage like this allows the viewer to take in these events much like people did almost 40 years ago.

These days, documentary makers tend to rely on dramatizations and re-enactments to communicate historic events. Big mistake. I guess filmmakers believe they are being more creative when they do it that way. Or maybe they think audiences aren't sophisticated enough to appreciate an archival approach.

As with many documentaries, this film is not appearing in many theaters. I had to drive 60 miles to see it, and it was only in one theater in Nashville. If you can't find it near you, seek it out when it comes out on DVD. It is well worth your time.

3 comments:

Joltin' Django said...

Does "In the Shadow of the Moon" show the soundstage on which the "moon landing" was filmed? Art Bell seems to think that the soundstage is located somewhere on the border between New Mexico and Arizona.

Chris said...

Actually, the soundstage is located on President Bush's ranch in Texas.

Not many people know this, but as a young boy, Bush played an important part in the faking of the moon landing.

He's responsible for all bad things. At least, that's what I keep hearing.

Chris said...
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