NEW ULM — The New Ulm Film Society’s NASA film series takes a step to the moon with a screening of “First man.”
The film begins at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the New Ulm Public Library.
It is the fourth film in the film company’s NASA series. Each film in the series chronicles the American space program.
“First Man” covers the story of Neil Armstrong (played by Ryan Gosling) as he trains with other Apollo astronauts and is ultimately chosen to be the first man to walk on the moon.
The film was released in 2018, making it one of the most recent films detailing historical events in the US space program. One of the most surprising aspects of the film is how long it took to tell Armstrong’s story.
The United States successfully landed a man on the moon, the pinnacle of the space program and arguably one of the greatest endeavors in the history of human civilization.
Armstrong himself is one of the most famous human beings to ever live, but no one tried to make a major movie about his life until 2018.
Every American knows of Armstrong’s accomplishments and has probably seen video footage of him walking on the moon, but his personal life was somewhat of a mystery.
“First Man” is ultimately a story about the first man to walk on the moon, but it’s also an exploration of a person overcoming tragedy and restoring faith.
The film begins Armstrong’s story at one of the worst times in his life – the death of his 2-year-old daughter, Karen, from a brain tumor.
In the film, Armstrong is desperate to save his daughter, using a scientific approach to monitoring her symptoms and researching new treatments. Unfortunately, Armstrong was unable to save her, and in his grief, doubt creeps in on the limits of science.
As he and his fellow astronauts train for the Apollo mission, Armstrong’s faith in science continues to be shaken. Other setbacks and tragedies make the lunar mission impossible.
Taking the first steps on the moon was a success for mankind and proof for Armstrong that his faith in science was not misplaced.
“First Man” does not try to portray Armstrong as a flawless man who was larger than life. Gosling plays Armstrong as a man who keeps his emotions below the surface, even in the most dire of circumstances.
This makes sense from a historical point of view. If Armstrong was the kind of person to break down emotionally, he would never have been chosen for the Apollo project.
Gosling’s performance is subtle, but the film’s visuals are anything but understated. The film’s commitment to detailing the 1960s era is impressive, but the film is best for its depiction of the lunar scene.
The moment Armstrong opens the capsule and walks on the moon for the first time is visually stunning. “First Man” won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for this achievement.
The moon scenes were shot with a different type of camera to give more detail, and the effect is stunning. The scene is a powerful moment, even for those who remember the real July 1969 event.
The New Ulm Film Society will host the screening in the basement of the library. Members of the Society will provide additional information about the film before and after the screening.