Sunday, October 28, 2018

First Man

Photo from @firstmanuk on Facebook on First Man at 11/10/18 at 12:45PM

On Wednesday I went with Ruth and Steve from work to see First Man a largely factual account of Neil Armstrong's life from 1961 to 1969.

It was a brilliant film in many ways and I saw it again last night with Mandy.

Only one thing grated with me - the way the interiors of the spacecraft were shown as dirty. The reality of course was that those craft were brand new at launch, and absolutely as perfect as they could be made. 

So why did the set designers and/or the director make them so grubby? Here are two possible explanations:

  1. The film emphasised unreliable and unproven a lot of the technology was, and therefore how dangerous it was. Making the equipment look dirty and corroded was a way to emphasise this in a visual way. I hope this is the actual reason.
  2. Director Damien Chazelle is only in his 30s, and possibly his set designers and other key members of the team are too. So possibly, they had a look at the real examples dotted about in the museums of the USA (and a few elsewhere). A lot of these exhibits haven't been maintained at all and have deteriorated over the the past 50 years. Hence the corrosion and general dusty grotty air of them. Maybe, just maybe the filmmakers didn't realise this and assumed that's how the craft had been when they flew to the moon... I hope that's not the real reason.

None the less it's a great film that in style and substance beautifully compliments Ron Howard's excellent Apollo 13.