America in Space: The First Decade (downloaded from Google Video). [Category: News]

This NASA film from the late 60s documents and celebrates the first decade of NASA accomplishments, including unmanned space exploration, the building and launching of satellites for many purposes, aeronautic breakthroughs, and the research leading up to putting a man on the moon. It does this with very annoying narration that constantly talks about Man and His achievements in space. Other than that, it’s a pretty interesting film, with lots of striking images of space technology. Especially striking is a mildly trippy sequence showing the wide array of jobs involved in manned space flight, consisting of brief clips of all kinds of jobs, with only the sounds of the work on the soundtrack. There’s also an interesting sequence on NASA’s failures, including a bizarre-looking craft that fails in the air and crashes, and a rocket that blows up spectacularly. The film has historical interest in documenting how NASA viewed itself just before Apollo 11. All in all, this is an interesting film that’s fun to watch, though I do wish they would get off of this “Man” kick after awhile.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

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