Apollo 11 is a limited IMAX only engagement, at least for now, and I don't know how long it'll be in theaters. But while it is, I implore everyone to go see it.This movie left me speechless, and...
Apollo 11 is a limited IMAX only engagement, at least for now, and I don't know how long it'll be in theaters. But while it is, I implore everyone to go see it.This movie left me speechless, and not just in the sense of the footage being so incredible as to leave me without words, though that's certainly a factor. It's restored footage and audio of the Apollo 11 mission, for anyone that doesn't know, and it covers the launch, moon landing, and re-entry.
It's so easy for historical events to be looked back on and be seen as just that: events. Like a natural disaster or the existence of a waterfall or a canyon, so many battles, inventions, and human triumphs are stripped of humanity, remembered only as things that happened, not things people did. Apollo 11 has staggering to witness footage, yes, but it weaves that footage together with the human moments wonderfully. The scenes of the launch countdown or the lander making its descent are intercut and splitscreened with the footage of the NASA control centers, with names of all the teams, as audio of their conversations with the astronauts and recaps of what has happened and is going to play over the incredibly restored launch footage. Cuts to the crowd overlooking the Apollo 11 launch are also common in the beginning.
This is not an educational video, one to be seen for great understanding of the finer details of the mission. Apollo 11 instead acts as history in motion, with a perspective to the individuals and the event simultaneously. It's about the people that accomplished the amazing things you see. A display of the triumph of human spirit over the perceived rules of the world and the desire for understanding out world and breaking the limits that we thought were imposed on us. And yet, we as the viewers have a perspective that the people who actually accomplished the great things we see never did. The splitscreening helps to assign human beings to the awe inspiring footage in front of the viewer, yes, but at the same time it offers 2 entirely separated perspectives framed as one, one that the human beings being assigned to the footage never truly experienced in the moment. We have an intimate view of the control center with a simultaneous omnipotent-esque view of the mission in all of its glory. The viewer as the omnipotent being is true of most films to some degree, but the way in which the movie frames its central event, small and big at the same time, really highlights an omnipresent view that even those who lived through the launch never experienced in real time. It's a film of contrast between the individuals and the accomplishment of the collective, but in its control center voiceovers and constant splitscreens, it's really a movie that bridges the two contrasts.
Basically, I loved it in ways that, despite my extensive best efforts, I find difficult to describe. This line sounds corny, I know, but you owe it to yourself to see it on the biggest screen that you can, and I implore everyone to try to make time for it and find a true IMAX showing, if possible. The visuals alone may not have been the biggest thing that awed me, but they were certainly a huge part of it. And for anyone that's also seen it, what'd you think? I'd love to see other perspectives on this doc.