Dark Side of the Moon (mockumentary)


Dark Side of the Moon (mockumentary)

Dark Side of the Moon is a French mockumentary by director William Karel which originally aired on Arte in 2002 with the title Opération Lune. The basic premise for the film is the theory that the television footage from the Apollo 11 Moon landing was faked and actually recorded in a studio by the CIA with help from director Stanley Kubrick. It features some surprising guest appearances, most notably by Donald Rumsfeld, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, Vernon Walters, Buzz Aldrin and Stanley Kubrick's widow, Christiane Kubrick.

Contents

Plot summary

The tone of the "documentary" begins with low key revelations of NASA working closely with Hollywood at the time of the Moon landings. Over the course of the tale, Karel postulates that not only did Kubrick help the USA fake the moon landings but that he was eventually killed by the CIA to cover up the truth. First hand testimony backing these claims come from Rumsfeld and Dr. Kissinger seems to lend credence to the story.

It is finally revealed that this is a mockumentary as the end credits roll over a montage of blooper reels, with the main participants laughing over the absurdity of their lines or questioning if particular ones would give the joke away too soon. Besides being a comedic documentary, it is also an exercise in Jean Baudrillard's theories of hyperreality. In a 2004 interview, the director was asked why he would elect to make a film "closer to a comedy than a serious film"; Karel replied that in the wake of having made serious documentaries, the objective was "de faire un film drôle" (to make a funny film).[1]

Australian broadcaster SBS television aired the film on April 1 as an April fools' joke, and again on 17 November 2008 as part of Kubrick week. It was aired again on 27 July 2009, perhaps to coincide with the anniversary of the moon landing.

Several of the fictitious interviewees, such as Dave Bowman, Jack Torrance, and Dimitri Muffley are named after characters from movies directed by Kubrick. There are also references to films by Alfred Hitchcock, as both Eve Kendall and George Kaplan are character names in North by Northwest, and Ambrose Chapel is a location in the 1956 remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much. The fictitious characters used in the interview are listed in the credits along with the names of the actors portraying them. For example, the rabbi is listed as W. A. Keonigsberg (W. A. probably indicating “Woody Allen,” as Koenigsberg is Woody Allen’s birth name) and the character is played by Binem Oreg.

In addition to the increasingly incredible claims made as the film progresses, several factual errors of note are introduced by the narrator, perhaps intended as clues for the viewer:

  • John F. Kennedy’s “We choose to go to the moon” speech was in 1962, not 1961 as was claimed.
  • Luna 9 landed on the moon in February of 1966, but the narrator states it was in January.
  • Korolev died following surgery to remove a polyp from his intestines, not from a tonsillectomy as is claimed.
  • Lyndon Johnson is said to have been the Governor of Texas-- an office he never held.
  • Likewise, Richard Nixon is erroneously stated as having once been the Governor of California.
  • The narrator implies the Cape was selected in part due to the George Bush family influence in Florida, yet no Bush had any connection with Florida until 1980 when Jeb Bush moved his family there. The Cape, however, had become the new missile test facility by 1950.


The soundtrack also includes the song "The American Dream" from Wag the Dog by Barry Levinson, a fiction feature about a secretly government-commissioned Hollywood production of a fake war.

See also

References

External links


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