Thursday, September 29, 2016

New Release : Operation Avalanche !!!

It's finally here ! Did the the a/v department at the CIA in 1967 attempt to fake the moon landing ? Did Stanley Kubrick have anything to do with it ? What were the repercussions of this for everyone involved ?  

Matt Johnson and his team, building off of the conspiracy thrillers of Kubrick (Dr. Strangelove), the showmanship of Orson Welles (F for Fake) and the cynicism of Brian de Palma (Blow Out), takes on the history of cinema from its origins of Georges Méliès to highlight the veil of fiction and deceit of the cinematic medium. All you can really do is burn it all down to the ground.

Other important references to keep in mind : With Operation Avalanche Johnson is building off the too-little-known space exploration films of Canadian cinema such as Roman Kroitor and Colin Low's Universe (while also poaching from another NFB documentary, Christopher’s Movie Matinee), which subject of space exploration the media theorist Marshall McLuhan would conceptualize in The Global Village in terms of an evolving human apperception. But perhaps, maybe a little indirectly, Operation Avalanche performs and demonstrates other concepts of cinematic deceit that have a long history. Lets not forget that Godard described televised space exploration footage as, “The picture is totally out of focus, you can’t really see anything. They’re always like that. There’s so much work and technique involved with making this type of image. It’s faked. Those are models, it’s pure George Lucas. It isn’t real.” Or that Orson Welles described the moon landing as a terrible event in the history of humanity. Leaving the space race aside, there's many important formal arguments at play in Operation Avalanche. As the name of Johnson's production company, Zapruder Films, implies: There was a moment when the world lost its innocence, all we can really do is re-watch the primal scene to attempt to figure out what really happened.

For more information on showtimes (and special q-and-a screenings) see the Facebook event page :

And for more of my writing on Johnson and my original review of Operation Avalanche just click on the linked titles.

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