Screened as part of NZIFF 2016

Operation Avalanche 2016

Directed by Matt Johnson

Everyone knows the moon-landing was faked for the television cameras, but nobody had quite so much evidence before actor/director Matt Johnson uncovered this astounding behind-the-scenes footage, starring himself.

USA In English
95 minutes DCP
M (violence and offensive language)

Director

Producers

Matthew Miller
,
Lee Kim
,
Matt Johnson

Screenplay

Matt Johnson
,
Josh Boles

Photography

Andy Appelle
,
Jared Raab

Editor

Curt Lobb

Production designer

Chris Crane

Costume designer

Megan Oppenheimer

Music

Jay McCarrol

With

Matt Johnson
,
Owen Williams
,
Andy Appelle
,
Jared Raab
,
Josh Boles
,
Ray James
,
Sharon Belle
,
Kirsta Madison
,
Joe J. Thomas
,
Tom Bolton
,
Johnny Osmorkrovic

Festivals

Sundance
,
SXSW
,
Hot Docs 2016

Let’s be honest: we’re all a bit over the faux documentary sub-genre. So let’s hear it for Canadian Matt Johnson with his devilishly clever cinephile meta-take on the Apollo Moon landing. It’s 1967, the height of the cold war, and the CIA suspects a Russian mole is inside NASA sabotaging the programme. Two chipper young agents, disguised as filmmakers capturing NASA’s race to the moon, are sent to uncover the mole. They uncover something more shocking than any Russian spy. Suddenly the agents are in way over their heads as they scramble to help save the USA’s credibility. Before too long guns start blazing alongside incredible one-shot car chases, as the influence of Stanley Kubrick may or may not come into this high-concept paranoid thriller.

The major achievement in this at times very funny quasi-fictional-doco is the technically impressive and seamless integration of all the kinds of footage used, and the ballsy fact that Johnson and co actually fooled NASA in a cunning meta-squared move. They got into the real NASA by saying they were filming for a student film about the making of a making of a making… okay my head hurts now… just come and see this very smart film. — AT