I had the pleasure last night of attending a press screening of Damien Chazelle’s new Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man. So let me give you my non-spoiler review…
A little background first: As someone who’s been a lifelong supporter and aficionado of the space program, I’ve seen every film there is on the subject, from Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff to the most obscure documentary. I’ve listened to most of the CAPCOM recordings, I have DVDs and Blu-rays containing almost every foot of archival footage shot by NASA and the astronauts during their missions. I’ve been to NASA facilities, I’ve seen launches, and I’m fortunate enough to even know a few astronauts. It’s with that lifetime of experience that I can say this: First Man is the single most realistic dramatic film about the subject yet made.
The level of detail exceeds even Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 and by a good measure. In Howard’s film, great as it is, there are a couple of things that just aren’t quite right. For example, the mission patch plaques on the wall of Mission Control are painted versions of the souvenir patches sold to the public, not the actual patches the astronauts wore. The NASA emblems on characters’ flight suits are modern, not period accurate. They’re little things, sure, but for the knowledgable, they can throw you out of the moment. But Chazelle and his team nail all of those little details, right down to the tiniest stitch. It’s as if First Man was actually shot in the 1960s, a level of verisimilitude and immersion that’s rare, even for a film of this type. [Read on here...]
All right, we’ve got a couple things for you today...
First, as promised, we’re very proud today to present Michael Coate’s latest History, Legacy & Showmanship column here at The Digital Bits, entitled Still Boldly Going: Celebrating “Star Trek” on its 50th Anniversary! In this lengthy piece, Michael moderates a great roundtable discussion on the history of the beloved franchise with Trek luminaries Mark A. Altman, Jeff Bond, Robert Meyer Burnett, Marc Cushman, Daren R. Dochterman, Dorothy Fontana, Gary Gerani, David Gerrold, Edward Gross, Bill Kraft, Herbie J. Pilato, and Melinda Snodgrass. It’s a terrific discussion and a rare opportunity to hear from so many leading Treksperts all in one place. We hope you enjoy it and, as always… “Live Long and Prosper!” [Read on here…]
“Star Trek has left a legacy of hope and optimism that humankind has a future. If we cultivate the potential of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations so that we embrace a universe brimming with the riches of life in all of its forms, then humankind can evolve into something finer and nobler. I think that is what Gene Roddenberry meant when he said that the human adventure is just beginning.” — Bill Kraft, author of Maybe We Need a Letter from God: The Star Trek Stamp
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the golden anniversary of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry’s legendary science-fiction television series depicting the voyages of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew of the starship Enterprise.
The memorable television series premiered 50 years ago this week (September 6th, 1966, on CTV in Canada, and September 8th, 1966, on NBC in the United States), and similar to our other Star Trek roundtables (here and here) and classic television retrospectives (here, here, here, and here), The Bits for the occasion has assembled a Q&A with an esteemed group of Treksperts, historians and Star Trek writers who examine the best episodes and offer commentary on the show’s enduring appeal, influence and legacy. [Read on here...]