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Film Editorial

apollofilm19.jpg Apollo 11
 

Director: Todd Douglas Miller

Released to coincide with the 50thanniversary of the Moon landing, this stirring documentary broadly eschews chronicling the socio-political backdrop of the mission, or profiling of the major players, focusing instead on the herculean collective effort it took to get astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins up there in 1969. The crisp remastered footage is spectacular, the awe-inspiring feel and sense of scale established in the opening shots of the titular rocket being transported to the launch pad on a massive tractor device. Simultaneously keeping its head in the stars and feet on the ground, the picture juxtaposes spectacular mission footage, and scenes from the crowded, frantic control room, with the more mundane but quaintly charming shots of observers dozing in their cars while waiting for the launch, or NASA staff on their downtime. No retrospective voice-overs or taking heads here, as director Miller keeps the story in the immediate moment, rendering the blast-off (replete with thundering sound) and an extended shot of the lunar module re-docking with the orbiting command module, as exciting as any CGI-assisted action sequences this year’s summer blockbusters are likely to throw at us. Try and catch it on the biggest screen possible.