Few filmmakers of his generation have made as much autobiographical hay as Richard Linklater. Again and again, he finds new and inventive ways to reflect and refract his own personal story for audiences. He mines nostalgia as effectively – and as interestingly – as just about anyone out there. He’s also unafraid of experimentation, moving with ease between fairly straightforward projects and efforts of wild and occasionally strange ambition.

Seriously – the same dude made “Dazed and Confused,” “A Scanner Darkly” and the “Before Sunrise” trilogy. Also “Boyhood” and “School of Rock” and so many more. No one is more adept at moving between feet on the ground and head in the clouds.

His new film “Apollo 10 1/ 2: A Space Age Childhood” is a perfect example of Linklater’s varied capabilities. It’s a return to rotoscoping, the animation technique where animators trace over live-action footage. It’s autobiographical in nature, loosely based on Linklater’s childhood growing up in Houston in the 1960s, but it’s also a high-concept sci-fi tale about how the first man on the moon wasn’t a man at all, but a boy.

Visually compelling and narratively charming, it’s a combination of everything that makes Linklater such an engaging filmmaker. Again – grounded, but also high-flying.

Published in Movies

As a rule, I’m what you might call an omnivorous reader. My choices aren’t usually constrained by genre – I’ll read pretty much anything. That said, I do have certain types of book that I generally don’t pick up.

For instance, I don’t often get into jargon-heavy thrillers – the Tom Clancys and Clive Cusslers of the world. Just not my scene. I also tend to steer clear of fiction written by famous people who are not famous for being writers – I’ve been burned by too many vanity novels.

So the idea of a book that COMBINES those two things should be a hard no, right? Maybe so – but every rule has its exceptions.

“The Apollo Murders” (Mulholland Books, $28) is the fiction debut of decorated astronaut Chris Hadfield. It’s an alternate history of sorts, a reimagining of the Apollo 18 mission that is packed full of mystery and Cold War intrigue. It’s a new wrinkle to the space race in a world where it’s no longer about getting to space, but rather about controlling it.

Hadfield taps into his own experiences and vast knowledge base to craft a story that is absolutely overflowing with period-accurate detail while also offering up enough twists and turns to make for an engaging thriller. He blends real-life individuals with fictional creations to tell a tale rendered all the more compelling for its general plausibility.

Published in Tekk
Tuesday, 10 April 2018 14:25

To the moon and back - ‘Rocket Men’

It’s remarkable to think that 50 years ago, we sent men to the moon with slide rules and punch-card computers. You’ve probably got something in your pocket right now exponentially more powerful than the combined computing power of NASA in the late 1960s.

But send them we did.

While history most clearly remembers Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon back in July of 1969, he and his crew were just the latest in a long line of astronauts who took many first steps of their own – steps that led to the planting of a flag somewhere not of the Earth.

Robert Kurson’s “Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon” (Random House, $28) tells the story of one such step – the mission undertaken by Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders to become the first men ever to travel to the moon. From meticulous research and hours of interviews springs a lively narrative, one that brings the bravery and brainpower of all involved to vivid life.

Published in Tekk
Friday, 06 January 2017 12:21

‘Hidden Figures’ a perfect launch

Drama reveals some of the Space Race's unsung heroes

Published in Movies


The Maine Edge. All rights reserved. Privacy policy. Terms & Conditions.

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine