The Zeitgeist Films production "A Space Program, " which is making the rounds of theaters, is an awesomely entertaining performance piece in documentary clothing. Artist Tom Sachs and his team of imagineers do such a great job simulating a simulation of a womaned trip to Mars that many dopes (including your not-so-humble reviewer) will think that is a documentary of a genuine preliminary-stages simulation. One spoiler is that you won't believe your eyes at what those far out space nuts find; sadly, Honk is not there to help them along.
The following YouTube clip of the "Program" trailer nicely showcases the awesome creativity of the film.
"Program" opens with Team Sachs introducing both themselves and their materials. These household items include plywood and Tyvek. (Surprisingly, duct tape is not prominently featured.) This is in the context of the aforementioned simulation of two female astronauts traveling from earth to Mars and back again in far less time than Matt Damon.
The low-tech elements, which include using a globe to represent our home planet, seem attributable to a combination of a low budget and a good sense of humor. Other budget-conscious effects include a simulation from an '80s-era Atari video-game console.
On the human side, we see the astronauts suit up and enter their model capsule for their imaginary voyage to the red planet. A disgusting scene in this portion of the film both answers a question that many people (not including your not-so-humble reviewer) have regarding space travel and provides fodder for the classic scifi humor that relates to references to probing Uranus.
All of the above and numerous other scenes of simulated capsule and Mars-based activity make for the combination of entertainment and education that comprise memorable documentaries so good. A heated argument between the space travelers is a prime example of this concept.
The well-portrayed exuberance, tension, and other emotions of the astronauts and the ground crew add even more to the film. Their spirit is as infectious as a dangerous parasitic Mars substance.
All of this amounts to one the most positively unique film going experiences that you will likely ever have, especially in this era in which commerce trumps art at the large studios.
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