Tuesday, May 29, 2007

SIFF #3 - Astronauts and skeltons

The documentary In the Shadow of the Moon was high on my list of films to see... Specifically, I wanted to take my brother, Moviepie's Tom. Contrary to popular belief, I don't think SIFF mania is necessarily a genetic thing. In fact, I don't think he had EVER been to a movie at SIFF before... but I knew that this film specifically would get his 'tocks into an (uncomfortable) seat at the Neptune.

I think I made a good decision, hauling him along. Here is an excerpt of Tom's to-be-published-later review of the film (8/8, if you haven't guessed):

Being very picky about how many pie slices I allow myself for a review, I'll have to give this one the full pie hot out of the oven. Don't even keep your fork or get a plate, since this documentary won't be sharing slices with anyone!

I think that's pretty positive! Straight from the mouth of Space Boy!

For those (like myself) who are not quite so... er... spacey, In the Shadow of the Moon is still an extremely interesting and vastly entertaining document of the Apollo space program that was the first (and so far only) series of space flights that put men on the moon. I was particularly charmed by the storytelling of Mike Collins and Alan Bean, two guys that just seemed thrilled to tell their tales - You guys are formally invited to my next barbecue! Best story (among many good stories) was Buzz Aldrin's confession about his famous moment where he paused on the last step of the ladder before jumping down to the moon's surface for the first time. Apparently he wasn't meditating on the profundity of the moment, while he stood poised, with one leg lifted off the step... he was actually filling his urine bag. (Yesssss!)

For those who think they have seen everything Apollo-related, the director told about how his crew got access to thousands of reels of film that has been sitting in vaults, collecting dust for over 30 years. My brother's mouth was in a surprised "O" during the length of the film... he said he had seen almost NONE of the footage before, and for awhile, I thought I would need to get him a bib. Space buffs will love Shadow, as will regular audiences.

My bro and his girlfriend took off, and I stayed for Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn (5/8), starring Christian Bale as Dieter Dengler, a Navy pilot shot down over Laos during the start of the Vietnam War. He ends up in a prison camp with the skeletons of Jeremy Davies and Steve Zahn, both barely recognizable in their husk-like forms. Dieter is a strangely perky POW, constantly smiling and excited, with nice teeth and a positive outlook, even when a transition edit cuts probably 50 pounds off of Bale's frame. Dieter is crafty and has plans of his escape, and his cohorts, who also include a few Vietnamese Air America correspondents, join him... some warily, some with enthusiasm.

I had heard very good buzz about Rescue Dawn going into it, and I have to say I was mildly disappointed. Other than the fact that the main character (yes, based on a real man) wasn't a Rambo-type, this film wasn't a whole lot different than the dramatic arcs of other Vietnam-POW movies. And I have to say the final scene was downright bizarre and unbelievable, considering everything leading up to it. I can only assume that part was true as well, otherwise I would toss it as being ridiculous.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Oh yeah! Even though I did use a few napkins at the hot-dog place afterwards, I still had to change my shirt since there was dried drool under the chin.

I admit that I should probably pay more attention to this SIFF thing, there seems to be some fine stuff that might be worth a few dollars, and twisting my rear into a well-worn and sagging movie theater seat.

I think about that movie and it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, but not like Buzz's urine bag though - but close!
...and here I thought I have seen just about every clip of video from those missions. Boy was I wrong!

Next week I'm making another trip to Florida. Watch out not to slip in the drool puddle under the Saturn V. :-)