Friday, 13 March 2009

"In the Shadow of the Moon"

I have to say that I am not a film buff - I can quite happily go from one end of the year to the other without visiting the cinema. As for films on TV, I might watch one very occasionally but really can't remember the last one I saw on the box. When it comes to modern day film stars their names might crop up in the news for some reason but I wouldn't recognise pictures of them. So it has to be something very very special for me to watch let alone make a blog entry about it.

Well, a couple of evenings ago I did go and see a film and was I glad I did! First of all I have to thank 'Peninsula Arts', the cultural umbrella organisation for the University of Plymouth who are happy for non-students to watch their films - their website is here - and secondly it was a friend who asked if I would like to see this particular film and I of course was totally unaware of it until she mentioned it.

Called 'In the Shadow of the Moon' it was made a couple of years ago and traces the story of the great space adventure whereby the Americans sent their cosmonauts to the moon. It was a film out of this world in more ways than one. A lot of archive film from NASA which hadn't seen the public light of day was used and the whole story was related by many of those who had flown to the moon; sadly these didn't include Neil Armstrong who I understand is quite reclusive and didn't wish to participate on camera. The internet seems to be such a good place for film reviews and the ones I read after seeing the film were all very positive about it, here is one such which will save me going into deep detail and probably making a hash of it - I'm no film reviewer!

Suffice to say that this documentary film gives one a remarkable insight into the make up of the individuals who were to become so famous. One of them mentioned a sense of guilt he had - but for the Apollo missions he would have been fighting with his contemporaries in the hell of the Vietnam War. It seems amazing now that it was 40 years ago that man first set foot on the moon; I remember watching the fuzzy black and white image on TV of Neil Armstrong stepping down onto the Lunar surface and seeing the same thing with remarkable clarity on the big screen was a revelation.

As a senior citizen the cinema cost was just £3 which with the cheap day return fare of £4.30 made for a very reasonable evening's entertainment. I would say to anyone who has not seen this film it is something you just must not miss. It could have been full of computer enhancements and special effects but no what you see is what the various cameras saw at the time. Words can't do justice to this very special film.

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