I saw Todd Douglas Miller‘s Apollo 11 last February at a press screening inside the AMC Century City IMAX theatre, and it was flat-out wonderful. I was knocked flat by the sheer textural dazzle of the 70mm large format images. The 93-minute doc takes you back 50 years and into the launch of Apollo 11 and of course the moon landing that happened on 7.20.69.
A significant portion of this stunning immersion — narration-free and sans talking heads — is composed of unreleased 70mm footage from the launch (look, it’s Johnny Carson!) and the ocean recovery of Apollo 11. This is blended with uprezzed 35 and 16 mm film, still photography and closed-circuit television footage, all of which was digitally scanned at Final Frame, a post-production firm in New York City.
The sum effect is one of a wowser, you-are-there voyage into the past. Except it feels like the present during those 93. It delivers an unmistakable spiritual current.
This evening I’ll be attending a special Apollo 11 screening inside the huge IMAX Corporation theatre in Playa Vista, to be followed by a chit-chat mixer with Miller. The idea, of course, is to commemorate the half-century anniversary, which is only 8 days from now. And, of course, to remind press people that this Neon release needs to be seen on a big, big screen. And that it needs to be nominated for the Best Feature Doc Oscar.
Universal release Apollo 11 on DVD, Bluray and digital streaming on 5.14.19.
The 50th anniversary of Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick tragedy will happen six days hence, on 7.18.19.