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Movies on the Moon

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Movies on the Moon

movies on the moon

For about as long as movies have existed, filmmakers have been telling stories about the moon on the silver screen. From fantastical sci-fi adventures to gripping documentaries about real-life space missions, many of cinema’s most exciting moments have depicted the adventurous moon voyages of intrepid astronauts.

In commemoration of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first people to walk on the moon on this day in 1969, here are some exceptional moon-themed films you can watch using your Livingston Library card.

trip to the moon

A Trip to the Moon (La Voyage Des La Lune) (1902, directed by Georges Méliès)

Once believed lost, a copy of the original, hand-colored version of Georges Méliès’ masterwork A Trip to the Moon was miraculously found in Barcelona, Spain in 1993. Initially thought too fragile to restore, the film underwent one of the most complex and ambitious film restoration projects ever. Three experts in film restoration – Lobster Films, Groupama Gan Foundation, and Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage – used the most advanced digital technologies available to assemble and painstakingly restore the film’s 13,375 fragmented frames. Flicker Alley, Lobster Films, and Blackhawk Films are thrilled to present the 1902 hand-colored edition of A Trip to the Moon, featuring a brand new score by Jeff Mills and an improvised piano track by Serge Bromberg with narration written by Georges Méliès. (Synopsis by Kanopy)

Woman in the Moon (Frau im Mond) (1929, directed by Fritz Lang)

One of the first major films to dwell upon the possibility of space travel, Fritz Lang’s Woman in the Moon (Frau im Mond) stars Gerda Maurus as the titular female who joins an extraterrestrial expedition in search of gold on the moon. Among the many prescient aspects of the film is its use of a countdown before blast-off and its depiction of the effects of centrifugal force upon the lunar passengers. Willy Ley, later a leading light of the U.S. space program, served as technical adviser. (Synopsis taken from Allmovie.com)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, directed by Stanley Kubrick)
A four-million-year-old black monolith is discovered on the moon, and the government sends a team of scientists on a fact-finding mission while hiding the truth from the public. Later, another team is sent to Jupiter in a ship controlled by the perfect HAL 9000 computer to further investigate the giant object–but something goes terribly wrong. (Synopsis provided by the studio)

Other Side of the Moon (1989, directed by Mickey Lemle)

Eight Apollo astronauts intimately share their experience of going to the moon, describing what happened to them while they were there, and how their lives have been shaped by the experience in the 20 years after. (Synopsis by Kanopy)

apollo 13

Apollo 13 (1995, directed by Ron Howard)

A big-picture reenactment of the 1970 Apollo lunar mission that ran into problems. Stranded 205,000 miles from the Earth in a crippled spacecraft, astronauts Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton), and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) fight a desperate battle to survive. Nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Ed Harris), Best Supporting Actress (Kathleen Quinlan), and Best Adapted Screenplay. (Synopsis provided by the studio)

Moon (2009, directed by Duncan Jones)

Astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is completing a three-year contract with Lunar Industries to mine Earth’s primary source of energy, Helium-3. His declining health is causing headaches and hallucinations that lead to a near-fatal accident, rendering him unconscious. After recuperating, an unexpected discovery leads him to doubt his sanity, his identity, and the integrity of the company. Believing he is alone on his mission, his sole purpose is getting back home on his own. (Synopsis provided by the studio)

apollos daring mission

Apollo’s Daring Mission (2018, directed by Kirk Wolfinger)

In this episode of PBS’s NOVA series, Apollo astronauts and engineers tell the inside story of how the first mission to the moon, Apollo 8, pioneered groundbreaking technologies that would pave the way to land a man on the moon and win the space race. (Synopsis by Kanopy)

First Man (2018, directed by Damien Chazelle)

The riveting story behind the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight. A visceral and intimate account told from Armstrong’s perspective, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the film explores the triumphs and the cost, on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues and the nation itself; of one of the most dangerous missions in history. (Synopsis provided by the studio)

ad astra

Ad Astra (2019, directed by James Gray)

Army Corps engineer and astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) is searching for answers in the depths of space. Twenty years ago, Roy’s father (Tommy Lee Jones) went in search of proof of the existence of extraterrestrial life on Neptune during a one-way mission. The mission was designated officially as a failure. Roy searches the solar system for the truth about both his father’s mission and a recent mystery that has unfolded that threatens Earth. What Roy doesn’t know is that this journey will do more than test him physically and mentally. The answers he finds will challenge everything he understands about the existence of humans. (Synopsis provided by the studio)

8 Days: To the Moon and Back (2019, directed by Anthony Philipson)

Seamlessly blending Apollo 11 mission audio featuring conversations between Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins with news footage, NASA archive, and stunning CGI, this film is a stunning recreation of the first moon landing. (Synopsis by Kanopy)

Joe, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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