Sat, Jun. 10th, 2017

SIFF: The Landing

Sat, Jun. 10th, 2017 07:53 am
scarlettina: (Default)
Last night's SIFF film: The Landing, a faux documentary about Apollo 18, the last moon mission. (Actually, Apollo 18 never happened. It was cancelled.) The film posits an unplanned landing not in the Pacific Ocean, but in China, and explores the question of how two of the three astronauts died. Was it the result of accidental poisoning, or were they murdered?

The filmmakers did a terrific job of nearly convincing me that all of this actually happened, of portraying what happens when mystery clouds an event, and how conspiracy theories are born. Some of the narrative was downright eerie, given talk of silent collusion with the Russians and putting people in charge who don't know what they're doing.

What adds verisimilitude is that the film started out as a short about the murder that was made 20 years ago. The filmmakers took that short, got all the actors together in the last two years and shot the documentary footage. What that means is that you've got the actors when they were young acting out the moon shot, and the actors when they're older talking about the shot as if it actually happened. It's incredibly clever.

The directors and some of the actors were on hand after the film to answer questions and they talked about their process. One of the two directors talked about his discomfort with the timing of the film's release given all the talk of fake news in the media these days. He talked about the ease with which they were able to make false things look true. They discussed how they made all the documentation--hours of photoshop. And they discussed how much of the more recent footage was improvised--no scripts, just the actors finding the characters again and talking about what happened all those years ago.

I don't know if this film will get a wide release, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. It had the feel of one of those conspiracy theory docs you see on History Channel. At the end, when the director polled the audience, the group was split between those who thought the surviving astronaut was a murderer and those who thought he didn't do it. If you get a chance to see it, I recommend it. Lots of fun.

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Note: I have two other SIFF films that I've yet to review. I'm skipping those for the moment because this one is still so fresh in my mind. Will get to those later. And I have one more film to see tomorrow before the festival ends.
scarlettina: (Default)
1) What was the first recipe or food you learned how to cook?
I don't remember for certain, but I suspect that it may have been scrambled eggs. Or muffins from scratch.

2) What recipe or food did you cook most recently?
I think the last thing I actually cooked was a hardboiled egg for breakfast.

3) What recipe or food do you cook most often?
I tend to lean hard on pasta or on egg dishes. I'll have an egg-and-cheese omelette at least once a week.

4) What is your favorite recipe?
It's a toss-up between my mother's brisket and the Better Homes & Gardens lasagna.

5) What is the recipe you make that impresses other people the most?
The aforementioned brisket, though my friend Jeffrey wiped the floor with me with his recipe.

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