Review – The Astronot

Everyone knows about the moon landing. Y’know, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin? Who doesn’t? The moon landing is probably one of the most discussed happenings in American history. It’s appeared in educational science books, frequently been referenced in all kinds of TV shows, and is even the target of conspiracy theorists who claim it took place in Nevada. But anyways, let’s move on to the details of this great movie which mixes love and space exploring together in a way you wouldn’t expect. Created by local Vancouver screenwriter Pennan Brae, The Astronot is a classic story that takes place in the 40s-60s told by a lady named Hilda Mckovsky (Sandy Silver) as she explains the tale of her family, specifically her brother and her nephew. A young boy named Daniel (Kiran Cash) hopes that someday he would go to the moon. He shares a close bond with his father Walter (Tim Cash) as they do just about everything together. Stargazing, exploring, and camping out on an extinct volcano. But sadly, the memories come to a distinct halt when his father gets called away on active duty. Things get even more sad when Daddy dearest dies, and the only thing left behind is a telescope that his father got him as a gift. Through adulthood, Daniel (Pennan Brae) lives a life of isolation hunting for artifacts and continuously stargazing, looking to the skies. Daniel goes through a couple of ups and downs in his life, such as getting depressed over the death of Kennedy until he finds love with the Sandy the mail lady (Yuvia Storm). As the two get to know each other, they grow a strong bond with each other. 

One of the interesting things about this movie was that it was done with minimal cast and crew. Not only did Pennan Brae star as the main character, he also produced, provided props and wardrobe, wrote the story, and did a whole variety of jobs. Yuvia Storm also worked as 1st AD, craft services, and location scout. Tim Cash also provided a helping hand with fixing props, sound and editing. Nearly everything about The Astronot is super simple. The story, the characters, and the amount of crewmembers. But when you look at the setup of props, and costumes, and occasional effects during dreams, those tend to be more complex, looking as if they were done with a wider crew. Despite, the simplistic plot, the whole thing goes at a steady pace and before you know it, you’ve already landed at specific plot points. It’s one of the greatest movies I’ve seen so far, made by a fellow local. Considering it’s currently on the festival circuit, I can just tell it’s going to go on a journey further than any spaceship.

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