Film Series celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing
July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, one of the greatest achievements in human exploration. In collaboration with Houghton Library’s celebration of the moon landing’s 50th anniversary, the Harvard Film Archive presents films about humans’ exploration of that final frontier.
German film in the series:
Saturday, August 3, 7:00 pm
Woman in the Moon
Live Musical Accompaniment by Robert Humphreville
represents speculative science fiction, Woman in the Moon
finds Lang and screenwriter Thea von Harbou returning to the genre with a dramatic emphasis now upon the science. Lang’s last silent film presents the tale of the first rocket to the moon with a sincere realism and a woman essentially at the helm. Retrospectively, a few details—the multistage launch, the weightlessness, sunrise from space—were prescient, if not actually pioneering, as in the case of Lang’s apparent invention of the backward countdown. Although there is a plot involving a romantic triangle and a cabal of sinister capitalists, it is clearly the machinery that attracts Lang’s attention, as well as the science and morality behind it. Called Lang’s most abstract film, it retains some fatalistic and fantastic detours, yet with an atmosphere much cooler, and at times, chilling; the celebrated rocket launch sequence predicts the mass-as-machine imagery of Triumph of the Will.
Directed by Fritz Lang
Germany 1929, DCP, b/w, silent, 169 min
Please check the Harvard Film Archive’s website for the full schedule.