Hollywood once again reveals its distaste for America


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The just released new Hollywood movie detailing the life of Neil Armstrong, First Man, has so far gotten rave reviews.

Sadly, however, there is one detail about the Apollo 11 mission that the filmmakers decided they couldn’t include, even though it was in many ways the entire point of the mission. They made a conscious decision to exclude any mention of the planting of the American flag on the surface of the Moon.

Star Ryan Gosling, who plays Armstrong, defended director Damien Chazelle’s decision to omit the star-spangled moment when asked about it in Venice. “I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it, ” Gosling said per the Telegraph. “I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”

The Canadian actor added that based on his own interviews with Armstrong’s family and friends, he doesn’t believe the pioneering astronaut considered himself an American hero. “I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero,” Gosling said. From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.” [emphasis mine]

This is bunk. All the astronauts who flew to the Moon were very aware that they were warriors in the Cold War against the Soviet Union and communism, and did it very consciously so that the U.S. could win that space race, for the U.S. Planting the flag was thus for them a very important aspect of the mission, maybe in many ways the most important.

That these Hollywood filmmakers purposely excluded that moment only illustrates to me once again the hostility, even hate, that the modern elitist culture has for the United States and everything it has stood for since 1776: freedom, blind justice before the law, and individual responsibility. Here it appears they are making an effort to separate that very decidedly American culture, which made the lunar landing possible, from that achievement. They want to honor Armstrong as an individual, but do not want to give any credit to the country and culture that sent him to the Moon. Instead, they want to claim that the Apollo landings were merely “a human achievement.”

For shame.

This makes me very unwilling to spend any money to see this movie. Why should I support the work of such intellectually dishonest people?

I must add that I have already been emailed by several readers who are similarly outraged. I wonder therefore if this will turn into something that will actually hurt ticket sales. I suspect not, as too many Americans today do not care very much about these issues. They will go to be entertained, and many will buy into the lie that the Apollo missions was an achievement not of America but of the entire global world, working together in love and peace.

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70 comments

  • Noah Peal

    Kumbaya

  • Agent J

    I was going to take the kids, but if that’s their attitude… well, $2 at RedBox denies the Democrat-Entertainment Complex about $60.

  • wayne

    James Burke –
    The men who walked on the moon -1979
    https://youtu.be/rWZupDRI0ss

  • Michael S. Kelly

    Bob:

    Your comment is spot on. Planting the American flag was pretty much the whole point. I don’t intend to see it at all, now. As to whether it will hurt their audience share, I think it might. Space has been the focus of my existence since I was 7. After 40 years in the field, I know that pretty much no one outside the field cares much about it, and those in the field are there because they do value this country . The audience at best wouldn’t be a great deal larger than that for “Apollo 13,” which, after 23 years has had a domestic box office of $173 million, and about the same abroad. (Compare that with “Titanic,” released two years later: $659 million domestic gross, and nearly twice that abroad.)

    So this movie would have a smaller market going in, made up mostly of people who think like we do. I suspect this may tank the movie.

  • pzatchok

    If the movie was about his becoming an astronaut then I can understand them not covering the moon landing.

    But if they even went up to the point of his moon launch then they should have included at least the flag planing as the final scene or during the credits.

  • Andrew_W

    “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

  • Kirk

    wayne> James Burke – The men who walked on the moon -1979

    @1:01:51 “There’s little doubt now that no one in our lifetime will stand again among the desolate mountains of the Moon. We have decided that there are other, more urgent priorities.”

    James Burke turns 82 in December.

  • Andrew_W: I know you are trying to imply, by quoting Armstrong’s words, that he really believed the mission to the Moon was a global effort, by all humanity, but that is, not surprisingly coming from you, intellectually dishonest. This American effort was designed to demonstrate how the American values of freedom and tolerance and individual responsibility were the best ways for humanity to make “giant leaps.” As part of that American belief system is also the imperative that we be open and express good will to others.

    That was the goal behind Armstrong’s words. Americans, and Armstrong, wanted to speak to all humanity in declaring the success of their American effort. This why we put the words, “We came in peace for all mankind.” on the lunar lander. We came, but we did it for everyone.

    You might to read (or listen) to my book Genesis, the Story of Apollo 8 and actually learn something about the real history behind the Apollo missions.

  • Andrew_W

    Mr. Zimmerman, it’s a Hollywood movie, as far as I can see people aren’t complaining about gross inaccuracies or outright lies that are often seen in other Hollywood movie depictions of historical events, the complaint is that the flag planting isn’t included (and evidently that Armstrong’s character is played by a foreigner).

    Despite your hyper-partisanship there were in fact people from many nationalities that worked in the US space program including Von Braun, Rudolph and hundreds of other Germans, omitting the flag planting isn’t denying that it was an American effort financed by America and overwhelmingly run by Americans.

    You’re taking the non-inclusion of the flag planting as some sort of personal and national affront, grow up, it’s a movie, one that you haven’t even seen to judge.

  • wodun

    It is disrespectful to strip Armstrong of his nationality and ignore the culture that produced him. Too many non-Americans are jealous that their countries haven’t done anything great but rather than try and steal the glory of others, they should follow our example, emulate our culture, and do some great deeds of their own.

  • wodun: Well said. Note that this is not simply a “Hollywood movie,” it is an American-made movie, produced with American money by an American studio. This makes the removal of the American flag even more egregious.

  • Mike Borgelt

    “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
    Oh, dear, how sexist. Or so some would say. Possibly our communist New Zealander failed to see this, which is a surprise.
    Well, that takes that movie off the very short list of movies I want to see. (currently now running at zero entries).
    Deliberate distortion of history for PC reasons. Remember it is as bad to lie by omission as commission.
    Hope it tanks badly.

  • wayne

    Andrew_W;
    Come on… because Von Braun was born in Germany, it was somehow an “international effort?”

    The (Apollo 11) lunar module spent 21 (+/-) hours on the Moon, and Armstrong & Aldrin were physically outside for only 2 (+/-) hours and a big chunk of that time was spent specifically putting up an American flag.

  • wayne

    I almost said, Armstrong & Aldrin we’re “monkeying around,” for only 2 hours, but I don’t want to be a racist.

  • Cotourj

    America is composed of most all nationalities on the planet, but they come together to do such things as, put a man on the moon in the context of America.

    Humanity did not come together to do such a thing, America came together to do such a thing.

    And I have not seen the movie but it does seem a deliberate and politically correct move on the part of the movie makers.

    Would a movie about Sir Edmond Hillary be made and not include the planting of the flag New of Zealand on top of Everest? Of course not that would not make sense, but somehow this deliberate slight does make sense?

    As a general rule, all encompassing “political correctness” and the borderless world model threatens all of humanity in the long term. Is this but an indicator? Maybe.

  • Andrew_W

    “It is disrespectful to strip Armstrong of his nationality and ignore the culture that produced him.”

    How does the movie strip Armstrong of his nationality? Have you seen it?

  • Andrew_W

    “Would a movie about Sir Edmond Hillary be made and not include the planting of the flag [of New] Zealand on top of Everest?”

    Certainly.

    The expedition carrying three flags – the Union Jack, the United Nations flag of a white globe on a blue background, and the Nepalese flag

  • wayne

    C—
    funny you should mention Edmond Hillary ya’ know?! Seeing as how Hillary Clinton was named in his honor and all, or so she claims. (unfortunately/fortunately however, she survived landing in Kosovo, under heavy fire.)

    Andrew_W:
    yeah, it’s not a “documentary,” it is however a perfect example of “shaping the narrative,” and there are an increasing number of people who are sick of buying that type of product. Because they lie & distort, even when they don’t have to. They just can’t help it, it’s compulsive.
    This very much akin to making “The Sands of Iwo Jima,” and leaving out the….raising the American flag thing.

  • Andrew_W

    No doubt those whining about a Canadian playing Armstrong were also up-in-arms about Scarlett Johansson playing a transgender character. /sarc.

  • wayne

    >lack of appreciation for shared cultural achievements & experiences, and plain old History.
    It’s not about jingoism, It’s about intentionally rewriting history by omission.

    It’s Friday, I’ll go Conceptual….
    This for example, doesn’t make any sense, unless you know the story behind it.

    MTV opening 1981
    https://youtu.be/HvGiRElg3nQ
    1:08

  • Cotour

    So Hillary did plant a symbol of his accomplishment on top of Everest, his flag among others and that is acceptable to you and you call that “good”. And to commemorate the moment they took a picture validating the event. And that picture event is a essential part of any story about Hillary. You can not find a story about him without it as a main feature

    Any time a representative of a country does something so extraordinary such as conquering Everest they usually leave a symbol of their country on site, every time, which Hillary did. But it is somehow no big deal when they choose to omit the American flag from such an accomplishment. Intellectually dishonest? You tell me.

    By the way this particular accomplishment by the Americans, successfully putting men on the moon and bringing them home, eclipses any other accomplishment that any individual or country has ever accomplished in the history of humanity. Not such a big deal in your opinion.

    I think given those credentials its appropriate to give a passing mention and a thumbs up to those who actually did it. No? Your overt double standard is………………..overt and intellectually dishonest.

  • wayne

    William Shatner:
    “I am Canadian”
    https://youtu.be/AOnQROgk1IM
    3:01

  • Wayne: Another one of those magnificent videos that you find (I know, you’ve got a million of them) that I could have used as an evening pause. No matter, you have done the right thing and sent me some suggestions, for which I am grateful. :)

    Shatner, as always, shows himself to be a humble man willing to make fun of himself. It is one of the reasons I have always liked him. It is also something that permeates the original Star Trek, and makes it better. It is sad that later versions lacked this willingness to not take themselves too seriously.

  • Andrew_W

    Cotour, there isn’t even a mention of flags in this article.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1953_British_Mount_Everest_expedition#Assault_on_the_summit

    And the only mention of flags in this article is that the NZ flag was flown at half mast on Hillary’s death.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Hillary

    The rest of your comment is loaded with strawmen – things I haven’t said or implied.

    First Man is a tribute to both Armstrong and the American space program, ripping the film down over no flag planting scene is like trashing articles on the 1953 Everest expedition that fail to mention the flags they took with them, I’m not even sure if they actually planted the flags in the ice at the summit – and I don’t care, what counts is the achievement.

    First Man is a tribute to a great achievement, getting all steamed up over whether the flag planting is shown is petty and stinks of insecurities.

  • wayne

    Hey Mr. Z.,
    Congrats on the audio-book, btw.

    It’s tough to come up with good suggestions, and some times just easier to capture-the-moment as it were. (hopefully, without going too tangential and all loose-association.)

  • wayne

    America First, New Zealand Second
    https://youtu.be/Jp0zp3c-Al4
    2:34

  • Jwing

    I won’t see this movie if the producer purposely left out the planting of Old Glory on the moon by the USA.
    If the USSR was first on the moon and this producer made a movie about it, I am certain that movie would not omit the Soviet’s flag planting.
    It’s like making a movie about Iwo Jima and leaving out the iconic flag raising because WWII was an allied effort?!?!
    Typical Hollywood!

  • Cotour

    No one, Particularly me, is steamed up, Its just the logic of the issue.

    By you essentially saying that the one technological accomplishment that eclipses all other accomplishments of that era and in all of human history that just so happens to have been accomplished by Americans is no big deal and that not recognizing this accomplishment is OK to not indicate who did it.

    That is incongruous and unreasonable for you and the movie makers. They did not do that by mistake and that is plain to see and that is the plain and obvious point.

  • Edward

    From the article: “The Canadian actor added that based on his own interviews with Armstrong’s family and friends, he doesn’t believe the pioneering astronaut considered himself an American hero.

    So, if celebrating Armstrong as a hero is not the purpose of the movie, what is? Otherwise he should have made a movie celebrating an average Joe who worked to get Aldrin and Armstrong to the Moon.

    “I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it,” Gosling said

    Robert wrote: “This is bunk.

    I think that an extremely important point is being missed, here. According to Gosling’s philosophy, Sputnik would also be a human achievement that we all should rejoice in as though it were an achievement all of us. Thus, we should now stop mentioning the Soviet Union or Russia whenever we talk about any of their firsts.

    The same goes for China when they put their satellites into the first Earth Moon L2 orbit or after they put the first lander on the far side of the Moon. We all share in the glory, especially if we had nothing to do with it.

    To go a little further, we should also skip the names of actors in movies, because we all share in the glory of their — er — our achievement in making it. In fact, all the credits before and after movies should just be eliminated, since it no longer matters who were the hard workers and financial risk takers who put them together.

    Going a little further still, we all should be getting equal shares of the profits for those successful movies.

    Yeah! That system should work out about as well as the Plymouth Colony’s first year, during which they instituted an early version of sharing equally in other people’s achievements.

    Oh, wait.

    Half the Plymouth Colony died that first year, and they only saved themselves when each person was able to take full credit for his own achievements.

  • Steve Earle

    I hesitate to comment after getting called a troglodyte by another resident leftie here for my personal boycott of any product that fails to include Pluto as our 9th Planet…..

    It seems as though whenever any of us voice support for any tradition or symbol that binds us together, or disdain for those who go out of their way to diminish those traditions (and clearly from the interviews these filmmakers very deliberately did this), someone from the left invariably jumps in with a condescending and dismissive attitude.

    And when there is any pushback to the dismissal that’s when the insults and name calling starts.

    So predictable.

    Name-calling, ridicule, and public shaming are used effectively by our Culture’s enemies who want to diminish the status and accomplishments of the USA. If we give in, if we allow them to shut us up, they win.

    BTW, I also think it’s humorous that Von Braun’s part in this is used to claim that this wasn’t an American triumph, when Von Braun’s mere presence should in fact remind everyone of another great American triumph, our victory over fascism in World War 2…..

    Anyway, please include me in the growing list of movie-goers who will be skipping this one. I’ll be happy to watch it with my son once it comes to cable, followed by showing him the footage that OF COURSE should have been included. (and then also followed by another play of “The Right Stuff” :-)

    (P.S. I’m also wondering how they are going to handle all of the US Flags sewn on the spacesuits, painted on the CSM and LEM, and the giant “USA” painted in huge letters down the sides of the Saturn 5…… clever editing? Or just digitally replace them with the “MTV” logo….. (good one Wayne!))

  • Cotour

    Just another way of recasting history to reflect a less Americacentric interpretation, plain and simple. Its a page right out of Rules For Radicals. Obama did it every day of his administration there is really no difference.

    I would be interested in seeing just how many insignia and American references they allowed in the movie. It would just be too over the top if they indeed did make a further concerted attempt at “cleansing” the movie. Was America at all involved in the accomplishment in this version?

    I might see the movie just to asses it in those terms.

  • wayne

    Jordan Peterson
    a few words on flags
    https://youtu.be/HgOG-SAqeiI
    2:57

  • Jwing

    Did you see what Chuck Yeager tweeted to a person proposing that the movie “First Man” accurately portrays Neil Armstrong as a progressive who would back the anthem kneeling athletes.
    Yeager tweeted dryly and succinctly as a military test pilot would: “That’s not the Neil Armstrong I remember.”
    Beautiful!

  • mkent

    Andrew_W wrote:

    …the complaint is that the flag planting isn’t included…

    Two points, Andrew. 1) The complaint is that the filmmakers intentionally left out the flag planting as a deliberate insult to Americans, trying to steal the glory of the American achievement. 2) Planting the American flag on Luna was the *entire point* of the whole Apollo program. Apollo existed for no other purpose. It would be like making a 2-hour movie of an American B-17 crew flying from the UK to Hamburg in early 1945 and not showing them dropping their bombs.

    If for no other reason than to annoy Andrew, it’s worth noting just how remarkable this achievement was. At no time in history — either before, during, or after Apollo — has any Soviet or Russian citizen been more than 400 miles above the Earth.

    In addition, at the time of the first moon landing, only one country other than America and the Soviet Union had even put a payload — any payload — into orbit. France had made four successful flights of its Diamant launch vehicle — a vehicle that had a payload of 85 kg to Low Earth Orbit. It couldn’t reach any higher orbit, even empty.

    That’s it! No one else had even made orbit, yet Americans were walking on the moon. Apollo 11 was so far beyond what anyone else was capable of, it defied belief. And still does, apparently.

  • Andrew_W

    “By you essentially saying that . . .that not recognizing this accomplishment is OK to not indicate who did it. ”

    Cotour, (or is it Cathy?) I’m not “essentially” saying that, no one is “essentially” saying that, how about you lay off the strawmen for a while?

    What I am saying is that the film should be judge on more that the inclusion or not of the flag planting, the film isn’t about the flag, it’s about Armstrong and the US space program. The comments I’ve been seeing, which appear to place more importance on the flag than on the rest of the road to the Moon saga, are symptomatic of just what a two way road it is that’s caused the current deep political division in the US, EVERYTHING has to be turned into a political football. In the movie they have not removed all the US flags from the space suits, they have not removed “”UNITED STATES” from the Saturn V, they have not replaced all the US flags with UN flags*, the movie is not a political device to undermine Americanism, the story it tells is one that Americans can be proud of, but no, hyper-partisan idiots want to turn it into a political football, a tool in the self-destructive war of America against itself.

    “Was America at all involved in the accomplishment in this version?”

    Talk about over the top paranoia.

    This is a film that is a tribute to Armstrong and the US space program, but that’s irrelevant to those who have declared that they won’t see it because the flag planting isn’t included, to those people all that matters is the flag planting, evidently the rest of what is one of the greatest accomplishments in history is irrelevant.

    American hyper-partisanship, which is tearing your country apart, is just nuts when it gets to the level of people turning their backs on a story about a great American achievement because they can pretend that the movie is, by some bizarre stretch of the imagination, anti-American.

    This movie should be seen as an opportunity to get manned spaceflight back into the publics mind, perhaps to get that inspiration for a return to the Moon, but no, it must be trashed because they didn’t include the flag planting.

    *These things can be seen in the trailer.

  • Andrew_W

    “The complaint is that the filmmakers intentionally left out the flag planting as a deliberate insult to Americans, trying to steal the glory of the American achievement.”

    You’d have to be insane to suggest that the filmmakers did such a thing to “deliberate insult to Americans”, likely the providers of the majority of the films income, but then when it comes to placing a cause over reality, logic is the first thing to go.

    “If for no other reason than to annoy Andrew, . . ”

    Yep, insanity, you’re well out of touch with reality.

  • Andrew_W

    Wayne, I like your link “America First, New Zealand Second.”

    “New Zealand First” is a political party, whose leader, Winston Peters, has small hands.

  • Andrew_W

    ” 2) Planting the American flag on Luna was the *entire point* of the whole Apollo program. Apollo existed for no other purpose. It would be like making a 2-hour movie of an American B-17 crew flying from the UK to Hamburg in early 1945 and not showing them dropping their bombs.”

    So if the US had put men on the Moon and not planted the US flag to entire program would have been pointless, just as flying to Hamburg on a bombing raid and not dropping bombs would have been pointless?

    If you think that you must be a very shallow person.

  • mkent

    So if the US had put men on the Moon and not planted the US flag to entire program would have been pointless…

    Andrew, it’s a historical fact that the only reason they made the trip was to plant the American flag on the moon. It was the very purpose of the whole Apollo program. Apollo was a battle in World War III, just as the air campaign over Hamburg was a battle in World War II.

    Andrew, why is it you so desire to continuously argue with Americans about what why Americans do things, and then insult them when you get it wrong? This thread is hardly the first time you’ve done this.

  • Andrew_W

    I interpret your comment as doubling down on the argument that planting the flag – a symbol, is more than the actual accomplishment of getting men to the Moon and back – an argument of symbolism over substance.
    Where else can we find symbolism placed above substance? I can think of two easy to name examples: religion, and extremist political ideology.

  • Orson

    Andrew_W wants all the Wahabi clerics and Latin American tyrants and and African bushmen to get credit for one of America’s singular positive achievements during the 20th century – as if all 192 nations deserve participation trophies? (Many of which weren’t even nations in 1969….)

    YOU, Sir, are mad.

  • Cotour

    Your lack of the application of reasonable logic and your dogmatic refusal to just appreciate a point of view which is reasonable says much to me and anyone else reading your posts about your position.

    You are unable to appreciate that an accomplishment that has only been a fantasy in the mind of all of mankind for perhaps all of human existence on planet earth that when it is actually accomplished that it is no big deal when the makers of a movie that are portraying that undisputed accomplishment do not fully recognize those who dared to actually do it by not portraying the one thing that all those who do such things do, proudly plant their flag. On no level can you appreciate that and that those who did it might take offense?

    Can you recognize that the accomplishment is at the apex of all of human beings accomplishments? No biggie?

  • wayne

    Apollo 11 erecting the flag
    https://youtu.be/_H20GUvUfl4
    5:01

    split-screen; live TV transmission & 16mm on-board film

  • Andrew_W

    “On no level can you appreciate that and that those who did it might take offense?”

    Taking offense has become a national American pass time, it used to be mostly the SJW that looked for reasons to be offended at every opportunity, now everyone wants to get on the bandwagon.

  • Andrew_W

    Wayne, I watched it, and suddenly the reason why they didn’t go with the flag planting is obvious, they would have been obliged to re-enact it accurately, but watching it, it was slow, ungraceful and not very charismatically done. Nothing like a well orchestrated flag raising ceremony.

  • commodude

    The planting of the flag on the moon was the culmination of a decade long effort which was an AMERICAN answer to the challenges of the cold war. To purposefully leave out a scene of AMERICAN triumph in the face of the challenges faced by the nation is just infantile pandering to the anti-American politics of Hollyweird.

  • Andrew_W

    “Can you recognize that the accomplishment is at the apex of all of human beings accomplishments? No biggie?”

    Haven’t you been reading my comments? I’ve called it “a great American achievement”, ” one of the greatest accomplishments in history . .”, “First Man is a tribute to a great achievement . . “

  • wayne

    Andrew_W

    the Symbolism required the underlying Substance.

    Again, this isn’t jingoism or ultra nationalism.
    -The United States landed 2 American’s, in American hardware, onto the Moon. They put up an American flag, (talked to the President) set up a few instruments, hastily collected 50lbs of rocks and managed to get back to Earth without dying. “Science” was not a key priority, the mission was the priority.
    -Let us not rewrite history. I for one, am sick of apologizing for our Nation’s accomplishments, merely because I acknowledge they happened.

  • wayne

    Andrew_W;
    Yeah…. ordinary reality makes for lousy drama, I agree.
    I don’t expect a movie, to be merely running the Archival tape, second by second. The fact remains however, they only spent 2 hours on the surface and a major activity was planting our national flag.
    You have to go out of your way with a re-creation, to exclude the flag. That’s a political statement, not merely ‘movie making.’
    Think anything you want, but I don’t feel obligated to spend my money on this movie, and just because I say that, doesn’t imply I have any particular opinion on those other Country’s, that did not go to the Moon and plant their flag.

  • Kirk

    Some interesting stuff in Wikipedia’s Lunar Flag Assembly article.

    Also,
    wayne> split-screen; live TV transmission & 16mm on-board film

    Thanks, I’d never seen that before. Wow, the moon really is black and white! I thought the 16mm film was B&W until the red stripes of the flag appeared.

  • Andrew_W

    Wayne, I haven’t seen the film, you haven’t seen the film, I’ve looked at several reviews, it’s primarily about Armstrong, his life his character. There’s a narrative being created that the film is anti-American, that it somehow depicts the Lunar Landings as something other than an American accomplishment, the evidence supporting this narrative is in part the absence of the tedious flag planting, based on this we’ve got nutters (who also haven’t seen the movie) claiming that flags aren’t on uniforms and space suits, that “United States” probably isn’t on the Saturn V, even that the film attempts to remove America as the nation that achieved the feat.

    This whole discussion has become farcical, it’s been turned into just another opportunity to bag Hollywood and the evil liberals, a chance to make claims of un-American activity once again. I think that’s tragic when the film was intended to celebrate a great man, instead of recognizing that the film is a tribute to Armstrong and those that put him on the Moon it’s being trashed, along, I think, with that legacy.

    You and I have seen the flag planting video, the process of planting the flag was slow, tedious and ungraceful, it would be good if they acknowledge the flag on the Moon in another way, perhaps with the astronauts saluting it before they leave, I don’t know if they do such a scene, I hope that they do, such an approach could be done far more captivatingly than an accurate re-enactment of the actual flag planting.

    I agree with you “the Symbolism required the underlying Substance”, “the mission was the priority”. If a movie about Sir Edmund Hillary’s life didn’t include flag waving at the top of Everest (even if he’d waved a New Zealand flag in reality) New Zealander’s wouldn’t care less, we’d appreciate the film as a celebration of his life, not turn the absence of flag waving into an opportunity for political warfare.

  • Andrew_W

    Kirk: “Thanks, I’d never seen that before.”

    If it’s such a never to be forgotten moment of national pride for American’s why haven’t you seen that before?

  • wayne

    Andrew_W:
    that’s a bit uncalled for, don’t you think?
    The Moon landing was transmitted live, the film had to come back to earth and if you were lucky, it would show up on local TV as weekend NASA filler or in school setting’s, months/years later.
    You couldn’t just pull this up on YouTube.

  • Kirk

    Andrew,
    My family was living overseas at the time, though we did go to the US embassy where we were able to watch the Apollo 11 coverage live on TV. As to why I never saw the 16mm, slow frame rate (looks to be about right about 1 fps), color footage, I don’t know. Either it is just something I missed or perhaps that footage has not been shown much because of its slow frame rate. (I don’t know enough of the fine details here to tell if that 16mm Apollo 11 footage was actually shot at 1 fps, or if they are only showing a subsampling of frames, synchronized with TV footage. Here is higher frame rate, 16mm, color footage of the Apollo 14 flag planting. )

  • wayne

    Kirk–
    Had not seen the Apollo 14 film, thanks.

    check this out:
    Apollo 11 – Raw 16mm footage
    https://youtu.be/6GtCvZlXeVk
    41:24
    (released in 1994, it’s noted as “12 fps.”)

  • wayne

    Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch Camera E-8
    (500 fps/ 16 mm color film)
    https://youtu.be/DKtVpvzUF1Y
    8:42

  • Edward

    Andrew_W wrote: “the movie is not a political device to undermine Americanism

    But Gosling’s word are.

    to those people all that matters is the flag planting,

    This comes from the person who complained that Robert was listing the Electron rocket as a US rocket, not a New Zealand rocket, despite Rocket Lab being a U.S. company. In one case it is fine for a U.S. achievement to be considered a human achievement and we are silly, hyper-partisan, or insane for our complaints; but in the other case it has to be a New Zealand achievement and a symbol of New Zealand’s technological abilities. He claims that New Zealanders would not care about flag waving, but cares whether Robert ‘mislabels’ their rockets as being American. But then, leftists (right wingers in New Zealand, according to Andrew_W) are proud of their own hypocrisy.

    Of course, Andrew_W will not be convinced by any arguments here, no matter how logical, emotional, or correct. He has shown us this inflexibility in numerous threads. He likes to get us started, denies that he said what we complain about from his statements, then complains that the discussion has become farcical. I write these comments for the rest of us.

    Claiming that the Hollywood filmmakers “would have been obliged to re-enact it accurately” is ludicrous, as reenacting a time consuming event has never before troubled Hollywood; they are experts at abbreviating events in order to show the flavor of the event and the importance of the occasion within a reasonable amount of film time. The erection of the American flag has been shown an uncountable number of times in various non-fiction documentaries, none of which felt obliged to accurately show the entire event from beginning to end. Filmmakers understand that their audiences are smart.

    Planting the flag is a centuries old institution. It symbolizes an accomplishment, usually national. It has never been enough to just have the flag on the ship that achieved the accomplishment or on the clothing of those who did it, but it has always had to be planted on the actual soil. Indeed, the problem as described by Gosling seems to be that planting the U.S. flag does not include all of humanity but only includes those who did the work and spent their treasure to reach the unreachable star — er — Moon. Reaching the Moon is an example of American ingenuity and American exceptionalism, and it seems that there are those — including Gosling — who want to share (an unearned share) in the accomplishment of others by claiming this as an achievement of humanity.

    Gosling is the one who politicized this movie. It is his words that have upset people who feel that their efforts and treasure are being usurped by the makers of this movie. Gosling actually stated “I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it.” “We.” This says that the filmmakers (the “we” in the sentence) were “trying to steal the glory of the American achievement.” No insanity is needed by those reading the actor’s statement, because that is what he said.

    Robert has an update, in which the director tries to calm the controversy. Director Chazelle does not really explain why he chose to omit the planting of the flag, but Gosling explained it. Chazelle does not contradict Gosling; he just says that he wanted to make up some facts for us and future generations: “I wanted the primary focus in that scene to be on … the memories that may have crossed his mind during his lunar EVA.” Memories — other than the purpose of the mission — that may have crossed his mind, meaning that he does not know what was in Armstrong’s mind at the time but will tell us his (Chazelle’s) own version.

    Indeed, Chazelle confirms Gosling’s words: “This film is about one of the most extraordinary accomplishments not only in American history, but in human history.” We have little choice but to believe the actor’s words about the intent to diminish America’s achievement by making it the world’s achievement. Otherwise, America would have been honored by this film, not diminished: ‘America did it!’ rather than ‘Neil looked into the crater he had to avoid landing in.’

    So if the US had put men on the Moon and not planted the US flag to entire program would have been pointless, just as flying to Hamburg on a bombing raid and not dropping bombs would have been pointless?

    Plenty of WWII bombing missions ran into cloudy weather over their targets and didn’t drop their bombs, according to protocol (it was the disposal over the Channel of undropped bombs that lost us the great Glenn Miller). Andrew_W pretends to be ignorant of John Kennedy’s purpose for going to the Moon (which really gets us going and drives the discussion).

    Kennedy chose to go to the Moon not because it was easy but because it was hard — hopefully too hard for a communist nation to achieve but not too hard for a capitalist nation. And he was right. The purpose was to show that capitalist America, when it puts its mind to it, can do better than the communist Soviet Union, which was already winning in space in every way. That victory in space can only be shown by following the centuries old customs of planting the victor’s flag.

    The flag showed the world that it was capitalism that won the race. This is the action that shows the victory. It was an American achievement, not a Soviet, British, Argentinian, New Zealand, or Canadian achievement. To suggest otherwise, such as that it was a human achievement, is to rewrite history. And that is Robert’s complaint. “Here it appears they are making an effort to separate that very decidedly American culture, which made the lunar landing possible, from that achievement. They want to honor Armstrong as an individual, but do not want to give any credit to the country and culture that sent him to the Moon.

    America did not invite partners, as it has with other NASA projects. America intended to do this alone. It was to be an achievement by America, not by humanity, but it was to be yet another American achievement for humanity. “We came in peace for all mankind.”

    Showing that American capitalism was so much better that it could win a technological race was the point of the Apollo program from the moment it was conceived in Kennedy’s office.

  • Steve Earle

    Wayne, thanks for that first split-screen clip, that was great and I am another one who doesn’t recall ever seeing that footage from the LEM window….

    And that clip led me to this one of a guy from Invidia Corp. in 2014 debunking a few of the Apollo 11 conspiracy theories:

    https://youtu.be/syVP6zDZN7I

  • Steve Earle

    All great points Edward. The sad part is that thanks to the Goslings and Andrew_W’s of the world, our pride in our own culture and country has been so watered down that when or if NASA ever lands a human on Mars (or even back on the Moon again), the hardest part of the mission will probably be all the naval-gazing done while deciding what kind of flag to plant there……

  • wayne

    Edward- good stuff.
    Steve Earle–
    Cool–I’ve seen that Invidia clip before, it practically always shows up in the suggested-list when I’m looking at/for nasa video. (although you have to be careful what you click upon, or YouTube will send you down the flat-earth hole, really fast.)

    -There are definitely more archival NASA videos & clips up at YouTube, compared to just 5 years ago, and some very well done compilations with the flight directors loop & on board film. (often with corrected motion and stabilization) Not to mention the regular PR films they released on a regular basis.

    -While all this material is available at the National Archive, unless somebody uploads it to YouTube, it’s not all that easy to readily access on the interweb.
    [Archive.org, is an excellent source, but they don’t have everything.]

    I watched everything I could on the space program in the 1960’s, and we only had 3 channels. {our ABC station came in cleanly & we liked Jules Bergman} If you didn’t see it live, it would be months before a NASA film would be released and you’d be lucky if it was shown as TV filler on the weekends. Fortunately, the A/V Guy at my school ordered every NASA film that was availably and we had “movie-day” every week in science class, so I’ve seen a lot of NASA material, but certainly not all the good stuff.

  • Jollster

    Old thread, but thought i’d Add my 2 cents. Just watched the movie and it was great. Plenty of “ United States of America’s” and American flags in evidence. The assumptions made in this thread about removing american references were premature and silly. What a hero all those guys were.

  • Cotour

    Im sure the movie is very well done, extremely high production values and very well written and portrayed, but we have all learned that its a good idea to look for the subtle and very subtle production decisions and choices that the Hollywood artists make and the reasons that they might make them.

    There are overt decisions made and those we are all aware of and then there are the choices that are made that go to base human psychology and are designed to send messages both overt, subtle and subconscious. If you think that these people who have their very well stated political views which are Liberal at the minimum and Leftist at the max are able to objectively communicate the history, in this case the moon mission, without their own political agendas somehow becoming woven into the story then I suggest you familiarize yourself with operation Mockingbird.

    And another little tid bit to consider, the Chinese are in the process of gobbling up Hollywood ownership. Are you familiar with the Chinese agenda and the plans that they have for the planet? Do you think they just have a profit motive in them buying up the main propaganda machine on the planet?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird

    Human psychology is well studied and well known and this knowledge is used for both good and nefarious reasons by private interests and government interests.

    Silly?

    I think the proper word might better be naive, naive for someone who thinks politically very active producers of “entertainment” spending tens of millions even hundreds of millions of dollars on projects that are pumped throughout the world into the brains of the public would have no detectable political agenda.

    Now that is naive, silly would be someone who would watch this content and think that there was no other goal but to tell the “truth” about the events of history. Especially when the director himself has made statements that supports his own belief that the moon mission was an accomplishment of all humans and not the accomplishment of America specifically.

    Silly? Someone is being silly.

  • Cotour

    I guess you would think that Kanye in the White House was silly?

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/11/trump-kanye-white-house-meeting-895342

    Think again.

    These subtle and not so subtle communications are reaching into the conscious and subconscious of the American public, specifically the Black American population. What is the message being transmitted? Its OK for Black Americans to think differently and look to Trump who is putting up real and substantive reality in the form of economics, employment and respect.

    Trump is a master of these subtle communications and what some see as “crazy’ those who know better understand are respectful and inclusive interactions with a purpose. Trump does this as a natural component of his personality, he is as genuine as any private person or politician has ever come to real honesty in his interactions and communications with the public. Trump is a communications savant of sorts and thank God he is American oriented.

    In the era of Trump there is realistic hope for reconnecting with and resetting of the Constitution and Trump will be seen as a re-founder of sorts when its all over.

    “Silly”? Keep watching.

  • Cotour

    Listen to how carefully Dave Chappelle, Van Jones and Ben Jealous tip toe through discussing Trump and Kanye:

    https://youtu.be/ry1x58cErHs

    They very carefully talk about love and respect for Kanye even though he is closely associated with Trump, they talk about the #METOO movement and how they connect with it. Its all very carefully walked through, not too volatile, very tame and measured, especially for someone like Chappelle who is one of the raunchiest and sexually depraved female exploiting and yet very funny Black comedians.

    I find this conversation on CNN of all places very instructive related to the subject at hand. All that Trump needs do is to move 8 to 10 percent or so of the Black and Hispanic population in his direction and the Democrat party will not see power for the next 10 to 20 years.

    I say Trump is well on his way to doing just that by offering solid examples of real accomplishments in the self interests of those groups, plain and simple for anyone to understand, even the indoctrinated for the last 50 years Black population that until now has been the voting “property” of the Democrat party.

    There is lots coming down the road.

  • Jollster: I have not seen the movie, so your comments here are appreciated. I am sincerely glad that your impression was that they did not de-emphasize the U.S. in the movie.

    At the same time, being suspicious of Hollywood and the modern leftist intellectual community in these matters is not silly. Nor is it ever premature to hold their feet to the fire.

    I really should go and see the movie and comment myself. I just dislike intensely the unpleasantness of the modern movie theater experience..

  • wayne

    Mr. Z.,
    Do you have any “old-timey” Theaters in Tucson? Do you have any drive-in’s?

    The West Wind Glendale 9 Drive In has First Man playing right now.
    https://www.westwinddi.com/movies/details?code=247142

  • Cotour

    Just for Wayne:

    https://youtu.be/szpgnnSt7hQ

    And maybe even EMC2750F’.

  • Jollster

    Mr Z, Yep. I think you should go and see it. It was probably a bit slow for my 13 yo boy, who came with me, but I liked that. The movie really focussed on Armstrong and his motivations. It may have portrayed him a a touch more silent and introspective than he actually was… many others can comment on that better than me. The Saturn 5 taking off was spectacular, and they used the actual sound of the falcon heavy taking off, dubbed in for the roar of the Saturn 5. Wonderful stuff. And I was left in no doubt that it was an American program through and through (not an American myself).

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    ha! (but… no need to be snarky. I remain highly sympathetic with Edward’s views on Trump.)

    I’ve actually caught quite a few of Trumps campaign speeches recently, including Rand’s appearance at the Kentucky rally. (RSBN channel at YouTube, covers them all, and with a 3 hour pre-game stream in the parking lot.)

    -Trump beat Hillary. In the final analysis, I would have voted for a can of soup to prevent that from happening.
    -Trump is to be taken seriously, but never literally.
    -His Boosterism is good to hear, I was totally sick of being lectured to by Obama.
    -Tarif’s and protectionism will bury us, the stock market is a financial-bubble waiting to implode.
    -The Debt & Deficit remain out of control, with no end in sight, and Mitch is still running the Senate. (and his wife remains embedded into the Chinese economy)

    Taking Stock of Trumpism:
    Where It Came From, What It Has Accomplished, and Where It Is Going
    Victor Davis Hanson May 2017
    https://youtu.be/pzXJi9-1SUs
    1:06:43

  • Cotour

    One more observation that I see but no one seems to be talking about.

    Two or three weeks ago we saw Obama trying to do some rallying of the troops with comments in the media and a huge 750 person gathering and inspirational speech, then came Kavanaugh. (Yes, Obama is all about lecturing the feeble and dumb, meaning you me and everyone else that vomits every time we hear his voice. You know, the deplorables)

    Now Obama is nowhere to be seen or heard, and we are less than 3 weeks away from the midterm elections that are probably the most important midterms of our lives at least for the last 2 generations.

    Thats another not good sign for the Democrats. Obama and his handlers appear to understand what is about to happen. Blue wave? There will either be a low tide or a Red tsunami IMO.

    What ever political capital that Obama has left given the state of the economy and the numbers and general pro Trump leadership mood in the country he appears to not be willing to risk spending it, and for good reason.

    In the era of Trump even EMC2750F’ will have to eventually get his head straight.

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