Wednesday, October 3, 2007

In the Shadow of the Moon

"If I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun--almost as hot as it is here today--and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out--then we must be bold."

Last night I fortunate enough to catch a screening of "In the Shadow of the Moon". A tremendous documentary about the United States' Apollo missions and the exploration of the moon.

Lately it seems most of the news that comes out of NASA is negative in terms of the space program. "In the Shadow of the Moon" takes you back to a time in our history when we as a nation, to quote Buzz Aldrin, "Did bold things" Director David Sington, a veteran of the space-faring PBS series "Nova," does a brilliant job conveying to the viewer what it it felt like to be participant in the launches and the excitement around the world from those who watched it.

This is feeling is portrayed through some excellent interviews with the crew members of every Apollo mission that flew to the moon. (minus Neil Armstrong) These men, the only living people to have actually seen our earth from the moon, speak of their experiences with a down-to-earth eloquence and candor, their words adding considerable feeling to the images on the screen. There is one scene where Jim Lovell talks about reading from Genesis while orbiting the Moon, and as he reads the moon pans by, to say the least it is inspiring!

While it does not focus on the subject, there are several scenes with the astronauts where they mention that being in space and looking back at the earth, gave them a feeling of awe and the knowledge that our universe was created, it did not just happen. One of the astronauts, I believe it was David Scott even says something in the context of "While I was on the moon for three days, I ending gaining a lifetime with God"

Besides the interviews, the actual footage in the film is visually stunning. The archival material from original NASA film has been re-mastered and except for the fact that it is 4:3 is simply gorgeous. The result of this staggering footage combined with the insightful commentary from the astronauts result in an intimate epic that vividly communicates the daring, the danger, the pride, and the promise of this extraordinary era in history when the whole world literally looked up at America. "In the Shadow of the Moon" is the best documentary to come out in the long time and is definitely a film to watch. :)

6 comments :

  1. Sleepy JOy said...

    Okay, call me crazy, but I cannot read the blue writing against the yellow wall paper. Does anyone agree, raise your hand if you do.
    Ya, so anyways I really wanted to read about the sun and stuff but I can't see the writing!!!!!!!

  2. Red said...

    huh blue writing???? What on earth?

  3. Sleepy JOy said...

    sooooooo, I guess you can call me crazy :) About the blue writing and yellow back ground......if your page isn't all the way loaded that is what it looks like until it is fully loaded. :)

  4. Will said...

    ah hmm I wonder why

  5. Sarah said...

    As awe, inspiring as space is, the moon is just a rock. I find that not so exciting, but hey traveling in space gets a thumbs up from me!

    ~once again hi-jacked your name

  6. Will said...

    The moon is not just a "rock" the moon is another planet!!! One that Americans have walked on!