July 20th, as you’ve no doubt put together by now, is the anniversary of Apollo 11‘s historic landing on the Moon, whereupon Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first two human beings to step foot on Earth’s only natural satellite. That was in 1969; a year prior to that, in 1968, Stanley Kubrick released his space epic, 2001: A Space Odyssey which was, to that point, the most accurate (or seemingly accurate) depiction of space travel, especially considering nobody had done it yet.
And then all the crazy conspiracy theories started up that said Kubrick was hired to fake the moon landing, or at least the footage. One guy, in Rodney Ascher’s fascinating documentary Room 237, maintains we did land on the moon, but all the footage of it was fabricated by Kubrick for the purposes of propaganda. Naturally, this man’s identity is hidden lest Aldrin drive to his house and punch him in the face.
To celebrate this 46th anniversary of the completely-real-and-totally-unfabricated moon landing, we present this: an editing of actual NASA footage (where available) into 2001. This was done by Nick Acosta, whom we’ve featured a few times on the site before, and it uses three of the film’s most indelible scenes and pieces of music.
Johann Strauss’ The Blue Danube is used over footage of the rocket taking off, uncoupling, going in to orbit, and all of that stuff; György Ligeti’s super creepy Atmosphères is used for clips of the astronauts in deep space and going over the moon (this section features the most non-NASA footage); and finally the Richard Strauss tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra is used for shots of the actual moon landing, being truly one small step for (a) man and one giant leap for mankind.
Stay to the end for a little bit of fun, courtesy of the quite silly 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever.