First Man

"It is a movie packed with wonderful vehemence and rapture: it has a yearning to do justice to this existential adventure and to the head-spinning experience of looking back on Earth from another planet" ★★★★ Guardian

Showing Times

Fri 26 Oct 18:10
Fri 26 Oct 20:50
Sat 27 Oct 13:30
Sat 27 Oct 16:30
Sat 27 Oct 19:30

Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling reunite after La La Land to retell the mythic story the led to Neil Armstrong's leaving his bootprint indelibly on history.  The first man on the moon; the zenith of Nasa and the space race; and, finally, the reserved elder space statesman who never allowed himself to become a public icon, and who lived to see the world lose interest in space.  It's quite some story!  

Spanning most of a decade, Chazelle concentrates on the marathon rather than on the finish line.  Arguably the most tense and thrilling sequence is the testing of the docking procedure during 1966's Gemini 8 mission.  As did Christopher Nolan in Interstellar, Chazelle has shunned the use of green screen and heavy CGI, and the claustrophobia of the capsule cockpit and the intense focus on Armstrong's strained and sweaty face inside his helmet is enormously tense, even though we know that it worked.  Chazelle keeps the epic intimate in this treatment, and the emotional opacity of Armstrong is belied by the tragic death of his young daughter; Chazelle suggests that this is what drove Armstrong through the long haul, the danger and, ultimately, a number of tragic deaths of friends and colleagues en route to that moon walk. Even though "one giant leap for mankind" is the stuff of legend, Chazelle - and Gosling - give us the chance to rightly celebrate the sacrifices and achievement afresh.


Film Information

138 mins

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