First man

Yesterday I took myself to go see First Man. I don’t go to the cinema enough, especially for a guy who professes to be a cinephile.  It was a really intriguing film. If perhaps it was a bit slow at times, it nonetheless gives us an insight into a crucial moment in American scientific and cultural history. The moon landings where when the American myth came of age:  as a country,, this is one of the primary stories that Americans tell about themselves. I think it is telling that we have a film like this released at this moment, with America struggling with it’s identity and uneasy about it’s place in he world. While much of it’s focus is on Aldrin, armstrong, and the interpersonal drama leading up to the Apollo mission, this is essentially a story of how the nation triumphed over all others, proving they could overcome all the drama to set a milestone for all others. Critics like Kermode have suggested that this film is not so much about space than about grief, with Armstrong struggling with the death of his young daughter, that plays into the notion of refinding one’s place in  the world. Yet to retell  this particular cultural tale at a point when americans feel laughed at or mocked, or when they no longer feel they have the prominence they once had, says quite a  bit about how things stand.

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