The fifty year anniversary of the moon landing has finally arrived (and you can almost hear the sceptics and conspiracy theorists kicking and screaming).
But haven’t we seen all the existing footage numerous times? Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11 is special because much of it consists of rediscovered 70 mm film left in canisters from the National Archives. The angles are new, the faces, the rooms and people all seem from now and not then but for their ’60’s clothing. The effect is disconcerting because the colour and the fresh intensity of the Florida light is beguiling and you are immediately thrust into the magnitude of the event. There is no narration or editing other then the original film and audio. It only serves to enhance the suspense. Throughout the film, various stats are digitally displayed on the bottom corner of the screen such as velocity, fuel supply etc and in real time. It adds to the heightened reality. At times the speed gauge moves so quickly its just a blur as it reaches up to 24000+ mph.
Everywhere there is authenticity – as you’d expect but it is still disconcerting. Hardware freaks would salivate at all this ‘mid century modern’. Strangely the event feels scarier than all the contemporary space movies combined. As the astronauts suit up at 6 am before blast off you see the poignancy on their faces.
Authenticity extends to the soundtrack where the composer, Matt Morton uses only instruments of the day including the Moog Modular Synthesiser 111c and the music is dramatic and reinforcing.
It’s not by accident that Apollo 11 is the surprise stand out doco of 2019.
The $35000 Moog Modular Synthesiser 111c period instrument
There were only 25 made
Director Todd Douglas Miller
Neil Armstrong Neil Armstrong
Buzz Aldrin Buzz Aldrin
Michael Collins Michael Collins