Sunday, January 07, 2007 08:52:37 AM
The Facts Don't Lie, but the Camera May
On Dark Side of the Moon, nothing is as it seems. The Apollo 11
moon landing? The photos were faked, a 'documentary' claims, and
sets out to explain how and why
Alex Strachan, Vancouver Sun, Nov 15, 2003
Sunday, January 07, 2007 08:52:37 AM
How could the flag flutter when
there's no wind on the moon? During an interview with
Stanley Kubrick's widow an extraordinary story came to
light. She claims Kubrick and other Hollywood producers
were recruited to help the U.S. win the high stakes race
to the moon. In order to finance the space program
through public funds, the U.S. government needed huge
popular support, and that meant they couldn't afford any
expensive public relations failures. Fearing that no
live pictures could be transmitted from the first moon
landing, President Nixon enlisted the creative efforts
of Kubrick, whose 2001: a Space Odyssey (1968) had
provided much inspiration, to ensure promotional
opportunities wouldn't be missed. In return, Kubrick got
a special NASA lens to help him shoot Barry Lyndon
(1975). A subtle blend of facts, fiction and hypothesis
around the first landing on the moon, Dark Side Of The
Moon illustrates how the truth can be twisted by the
manipulation of images.
With use of 'hijacked' archival footage, false
documents, real interviews taken out of context or
transformed through voice-over or dubbing, staged
interviews, as well as, interviews with astronauts like
Buzz Aldrin and others, Dark Side Of The Moon navigates
the viewer through lies and truth; fact and fiction.
This is no ordinary documentary. Its intent is to inform
and entertain the viewer, but also to shake him up -
make him aware that one should always view television
with a critical eye.
Dark Side Of The Moon is written and directed by William
Karel and co-produced by Point du Jour Production and
you've watched the whole movie,
click here and
read the article the link refers to [Saved version
if the original one goes down]. It is truly amazing how
it is possible to distort reality by showing interviews
out of context, overdubbing voices and put in irrelevant
clips together with real stuff. Suddenly it becomes
almost impossible to know what is true or not. Wes Penre,
Astronauts Gone Wild
Bart Sibrel Monologue
he Apollo moon landing never happened. Or, if
it did, the TV images you saw were falsified, the images faked.
Got your attention? Good.
According to DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, the most important film of
its kind since Oliver Stone's JFK - or since Rob Reiner's This
is Spinal Tap, at any rate - images of Neil Armstrong's walk on
the moon on July 20, 1969 were shown to the world through the
lens of master film-maker Stanley Kubrick and were staged on the
same Borehamwood, U.K., soundstage where Kubrick made his
landmark film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Don't believe it? Consider the evidence. Still images taken of
the American flag on the moon showed it waving this way and
that, but, as Dark Side of the Moon points out, there is no wind
on the moon.
The moon is affected by extreme temperature changes, which are
exacerbated by its lack of atmosphere. The camera supposedly
used to take the lunar stills, a Hasselblad 500, would not
operate at temperature extremes that cause chemical changes in
film emulsion. Mechanical parts expand and lenses loosen in
extreme heat. Exposure meters fail and film shatters like glass
in extreme cold.
X-rays from the sun would fog the film, and ultra-violet rays
would distort the colors - yet the colours in the Moon landing
pictures are perfect.
Apollo 11 landing
Gravity on the moon is one-sixth that of the Earth, which means
that an astronaut who would weigh 140 kilograms in his space
suit on the ground would weigh only about 30 kilos on the moon.
And yet the depth of the astronauts' footprints in the sand on
the moon suggest they weighed much more than that.
None of the photos taken on the Moon showed evidence of a flash.
You would have seen a flash, experts in Dark Side of the Moon
insist, because the astronaut taking the photograph would have
been reflected in the visor of the other astronaut.
Remember now, as they say on CSI: people lie; the evidence
Dark Side of the Moon was written and directed last year by
63-year-old historical documentary film-maker William Karel for
France's Point du Jour Production and Arte France (the film's
original, French title was Operation Lune). It uses documentary
evidence, archival footage and extensive interviews with
Kubrick's widow, Christiane Kubrick, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and
former and present-day U.S. government officials and luminaries
such as Henry Kissinger, Lawrence Eagleberger, Al Haig and
Donald Rumsfeld, to lay bare the lie.
And an elaborate lie it was, too, judging from the evidence.
(The official CBC press release refers to the film's subtle
blend of facts, fiction and hypothesis as a navigation through
fact and fiction and asks rhetorically whether "Neal Armstrong's
[sic] famous walk on the moon" was another stanley Kubrick
production. I can't tell if the misspelling of Neil Armstrong's
name is meant to be ironic or incompetent.)
Dark Side of the Moon points out that, given the turmoil of the
day - the Vietnam war, civil unrest, a newly elected president
warily eyeing his prospects for a second term - the Nixon
administration understood that it was more important that
astronauts be seen to be walking on the moon than actually walk
on the moon.
If the astronauts landed safely, but could not televise live
images back to Earth because of some unforeseen technical
glitch, then the entire expensive enterprise would have been a
waste of time, from a public relations standpoint.
The Nixon administration approached Kubrick - an American ex-pat
and avowed recluse, living in seclusion in a palatial estate
somewhere in the suburbs of London - with a mind to stage the
moon landing in advance, so that if worse came to worst, the
Apollo program would still have pictures to show a doubting
The administration knew Kubrick would jump aboard, the film's
makers suggest, because it was widely known that Dr.
Strangelove, which Kubrick directed five years earlier, in 1964,
was one of Nixon's favorite films.
The original idea was to have the CIA stage the event and film
it themselves on the same sound stage where Kubrick recreated
the lunar surface for 2001: A Space Odyssey. But when Kubrick -
a notorious perfectionist, with a temper to match - saw how
incompetent the CIA camera operators were, he demanded that he
be allowed to film the scene himself.
In return, Dark Side of the Moon posits, Kubrick was allowed use
of a special, one-of-a-kind Zeiss camera lens, originally
designed for NASA's satellite program, to shoot his James
Thackeray epic Barry Lyndon, which required a special heretofore
unknown lens to depict images of life in 18th century Ireland
using only available light. The film preserved the great man's
vision for generations to come.
If this all sounds a bit hard to follow, trust me: Dark Side of
the Moon makes it seem simple - as simple, anyway, as
deciphering the lyrics to a Pink Floyd album. It should come as
no surprise, in any event, to anyone who saw Kubrick's final
film, Eyes Wide Shut, to learn that the great man staged the
moon landing for effect. Eyes Wide Shut, after all, could only
have been directed by a space cadet.
But wait, there's more.
Armstrong's famous line - "That's one small step for man, one
giant leap for mankind" - was scripted in advance, and mangled
in the translation, into "one small step for man, one great
leap...who wrote this crap?" Armstrong proved to be a
temperamental star. While boarding the lunar capsule prior to
liftoff, for example, he was overheard to ask about the
in-flight movie, about whether he was in the smoking section or
nonsmoking, about whether he was assigned a window seat in the
back, about his requests for a kosher meal, and whether his car
would be safe in the NASA parking lot.
It's the actual testimony from Kissinger, the late Vernon
Walters (speaking in Russian, and dead, under suspicious
circumstances, just hours after conducting his interview for the
film), Rumsfeld ("I'm going to tell you a fascinating story"),
Eagleberger, Haig and others - real people in real interviews,
not actors playing a role - that brings Dark Side of the Moon to
life. (A cynic would point out that their comments are edited
out of context, but then a cynic would already have guessed that
the Apollo moon landing was staged, so why bother?)
The decision, ultimately, was Nixon's.
"He was the president," Kissinger explains in the film, "and he
deserves the credit for having had the courage to do it."
Kissinger was awed by the sheer hubris of Nixon's actions.
"At no stage in my life could I have anticipated that this would
happen," he goes on to say. "At no stage. Not even when I was
made National Security Adviser. And I think it is a great
symptom of the strength of America that this was even
It was the right thing to do, Rumsfeld concurs, "because we had
to do something to show that we're still the United States of
America...We walked out of the room and President Nixon said,
'I've decided to do that, and I need you to do this job, we're
going to do it.' It was just amazing."
Dark Side of the Moon is a mammoth undertaking. It seeks nothing
less than to expose the incongruities between rhetoric and
reality, by disclosing how the camera's lens can be manipulated
to suit any ends, and it achieves its goal with, style and
verve. It is a thoroughly entertaining and revealing flim, and
well worth seeing.
Oh, and one other thing. According to the final credits, any
resemblance to actual living persons is purely coincidental.
That's important to know. After all, the camera lies. It's not
always easy to tell.
DARK SIDE OF THE MOON aired Sunday, November 16, on CBC
Newsworld's Passionate Eye.
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