ENTERTAINMENT
10/15/2018 06:10 pm ET

Here's What Moon Landing Deniers Think Of Ryan Gosling's 'First Man'

Sen. Marco Rubio and the guy Buzz Aldrin punched in the face have a strange thing in common.
Ryan Gosling's new movie is going places no one has gone before.
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Ryan Gosling's new movie is going places no one has gone before.

First Man,” a movie that dramatizes Neil Armstrong’s historic 1969 trip to the moon, has managed to rile a curious Venn diagram of seemingly unconnected groups: conservative politicians and moon landing deniers.

Earlier this summer, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and other “flag-gate” conservatives denounced the new Damien Chazelle movie for “erasing” the U.S. flag from its moon landing story. According to Rubio, it was “total lunacy” that Chazelle didn’t showcase the moment astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the flag on the lunar surface. 

You know who else thinks the movie is total lunacy? The people who think there’s been lunar lunacy at play for decades.

According to a 1999 Gallup poll, 6 percent of Americans at the time did not believe that U.S. astronauts walked on the moon’s surface 30 years earlier. The data might be old, but conspiracy theorists who call footage of Armstrong and Aldrin traipsing upon the moon #fakenews persist today. I know, because I asked them to share with me their feelings on “First Man,” a movie about something they don’t believe happened.

Here’s what the moon landing deniers think of the new biopic starring Ryan Gosling:

Matthew Real, the filmmaker behind a BuzzFeed video about moon landing doubts, calls “First Man” a tired concept and says Armstrong “fell ass backwards into being a national hero.”

Genuinely I’m intrigued only as far as any other moviegoer. Which is to say, not really. It’s a tired concept [movies about the moon landing] in general, and knowing that they’re very likely not going to cover things that are actually documented to have happened (e.g. certain astronauts’ vocal criticism of the Apollo mission and Gus Grissom’s untimely death), there’s just very little of interest to me.

From a filmmaker’s perspective, I don’t feel like Damien Chazelle really takes any chances. So it’s likely to be a very glossy puff piece of something I don’t think is altogether true.

Now what I’d love to see is a movie about Gus Grissom. Maybe someone wants to tell that story. It’s far more interesting. In reality, the untold story, whether the landing was faked or not, is far more interesting than celebrating Armstrong. He wasn’t the first choice and kind of just fell ass backwards into being a national hero. Whether it’s because he could keep a secret or just because the other guys died in a tragic accident.

Bart Sibrel, the filmmaker behind “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon” and who was once punched by Buzz Aldrin, initially provided the following response:

I would be glad to speak with you, after you do me the kind favor of first reading the detailed article (linked below) which I wrote on this subject and then watching my 47-minute film “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon” (also linked below), so that your interview of me will be in an informed manner and so that the questions answered in the article and film will not have to be duplicated. After which, if you like, you can record a telephone interview with me regarding your remaining questions.

After I told him I only wanted to talk about his impression of “First Man,” he jumped on the phone to say that seeing it would be like “a Christian going to see a movie about why evolution is the supreme truth.”

I have no intention of seeing the movie. That would be like a Christian going to see a movie about why evolution is the supreme truth. That would be a waste of my time, and I would find it insulting.

First of all, they did not go to the moon, and all you have to do to find out that is ask this question: “Did they really go 1,000 times farther 50 years ago than they can go today?” Technology does not go backwards. If they could go to the moon on the very first attempt with 1960s equipment, [but] they can’t go today ― they can only go one one-thousandth the distance with 50 years more advanced rockets and computers ― then there’s something wrong with this picture.

Colin Rourke, a mathematics professor who wrote a paper doubting the moon landing photos, did not wish to comment but provided this comment:

It’s a simple piece of elementary geometry which proves beyond doubt that some of the photos from the Moon Landings are faked. Since they all share common features, the obvious conclusion is that they are all faked. If that makes you think that the landings themselves were faked, that’s a quite sensible deduction. I make no comment on this.

I don’t intend to go to see the latest pic on the landings. Have fun reviewing it.

Jay Weidner, who’s produced movies that explain how Stanley Kubrick allegedly directed the moon landing, is excited about “First Man” but mostly wants me to know his new Kubrick doc will be “explosive.”

Yes I intend to see it asap. Can’t wait actually. I will let you know. BTW my third Kubrick Doc ‘Dark Moon Rising’ is coming out in January/February 2019 just in time for the 50th. It will be an explosive film.

Aulis Online, a website said to “promote greater awareness and stimulate different thinking” and which houses articles from moon landing doubters, sent a curious Neil Armstrong quote in lieu of a real comment.

The film was only released in the UK today so no one has seen it as yet. In
any event, our authors stand by the articles, papers and comments published on Aulis.com and Neil Armstrong’s remarks made at the White House in 1994 on the 25th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing.

He said: “We have with us a group of students, among America’s best. To you we say we have only completed a beginning. We leave you much that is undone. There are great ideas undiscovered, breakthroughs available to those who can remove one of truth’s protective layers. There are places to go beyond belief. Those challenges are yours­ in many fields, not the least of which is space, because there lies human destiny.”

Marcus Allen, a UK publisher, distributor of Nexus Magazine and moon landing denier, plans to see the movie. Out of this world!

I am most certainly intending to watch the film ‘First Man,’ but as it is only released in the UK today, Friday, 12th October, I have not seen it yet. I have read the book, First Man, on which the film is based. I will be interested to see how the two compare.

Philippe Lheureux, author of Moon Landing: Did NASA Lie?, didn’t know what I was talking about.

Translated from French: “I do not know which movie you’re talking about.” 

So there you have it. Were the landings fake? Did man actually go to the moon? All we know is when it comes to “First Man,” Houston, they have a problem.

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