Friday, 15 February 2013

LUNARCY! ... MARCH 3, 9:30 PM

Sunday, March 3: 9:30 pm    LUNARCY!
DIR: Simon Ennis 80 mins. Documentary

From the late 1950s to the end of the 1960s, the thrill of space exploration captivated a world witnessing truly cosmic achievements. It was a time when anything seemed possible — Pan Am Airlines even began to take reservations from regular citizens for the first prospective commercial flight to the lunar surface. By the time the 1986 Challenger disaster and the close of the Cold War ended the Space Race, the utopian dreams that had fuelled the Space Age had already faded from the public's imagination — but for a few true believers, those dreams only intensified. This irresistibly zany, sharp-witted documentary from director Simon Ennis shuttles entertainingly from the ridiculous to the sublime as it introduces us to an unforgettable group of characters whose years-long obsession with the moon has reached truly galactic proportions.

Among the lunar-fixated interviewees is Peter Kokh, who has been publishing The Moon Miners' Manifesto since 1986, which speculates on what homes, gardens, malls, even musical instruments will look like once we live on the moon. Then there is Dennis Hope, who in 1980 found a loophole in the United Nations Outer Space Treaty which prohibits nations from owning the moon, but not individuals — which led him to declare himself the owner of the moon and to make a fortune selling plots of land to hopeful future lunar colonizers (including some former U.S. presidents). At the heart of the film, however, is an eccentric young man named Christopher Carson, who is determined to be the first person to live on the moon. With humour and more than a little sympathy, Ennis follows Carson's often misfired efforts as he travels from place to place trying to convince people to help him reach his goal.

Energetic, illuminating and often hilarious, Lunarcy! achieves the difficult feat of pointedly depicting the humour inherent in its subjects' endeavours without condescending to them — and it also raises larger questions about the human capacity to make dreams a reality. Are Carson's ambitions any more outrageous than explorers setting sail to discover new lands, amateur inventors trying to take to the skies, or two mighty nations racing to put the first human being in space?

As Lunarcy! reminds us, some of the most startling achievements in human history began with a seemingly impossible dream.

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