Moonwalk One, the poetic, beautiful, fascinating film about the first moon landing was broadcast last night on one of the Discovery channels. Lost for 35 years and rediscovered about a year ago, it’s a mix of documentary and a sort of film-poem, both touching and informative.
Discovery decided to show the film with introductory and break segments, featuring an anonymous, young, doctor of space, telling us about times he spoke to a mission commander, or that the astronauts were spacemen, and you can see the moon if you go outside and look up. Banal stuff, especially in contrast to the film it surrounded.
Worse, though, was watching something really great, unlike the normal television documentary, only to have a presenter tell you what’s coming up, what you just saw, and what’s on now. Formula television, drab, pointless, half of its time spent pointing to the other half. In a way, it’s surprising, with more and more channels out there, more and more people making films, more freedom for people on the fringes or without a standard film education to take up their cameras and produce works interesting, works unusual, works defective or even imaginative, that we delve deeper into the world of structurally and formally monotonous television. Teenagers and their love triangles, cops and their murders, spies and their double agents, families and their comedic mishaps. All of them walking side-by-side, stopping, turning to face one another, and continuing their conversation in over-the-shoulder-shot-reverse-shot.