There’s not really a great deal to say about this Film Four co-production from 2007, which tells the story of the mission to the moon in the 1960s. As a documentary it’s almost aggressively conventional in its presentation, using newly-shot studio interviews with ten of the surviving Apollo astronauts alongside often jaw-dropping archive footage from NASA (as well as from various earth-bound news sources.) Any gaps in the narrative are filled with static captions and the whole thing is set to a gentle orchestrated backing score of the most unobtrusive and unmemorable kind.
Film maker David Sington doesn’t take any risks with the way the piece is structured, either, sticking firmly to chronological order. There’s no hint of controversy or anything that might mess with the tale of real-life all-American heroes: the Soviet element to the space race is never mentioned; and while there’s an appropriate sober moment of reflection marking the tragedy of Apollo 1, the corresponding drama of Apollo 13 is dealt with very briskly and presented as pretty much NASA’s finest hour in overcoming insurmountable odds. Read the rest of this entry »