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The Right Stuff

Intro by Erin Espelie, Film Studies

The Right Stuff
At the beginning of The Right Stuff, a cowboy reins in his horse and regards a strange sight in the middle of the desert: the X-1 rocket plane, built to break the sound barrier. At the end of the film, the seven Mercury astronauts are cheered in the Houston Astrodome at a Texas barbecue thrown by Lyndon B. Johnson. The contrast between those two images, contains the message of The Right Stuff, I think, and the message is that Americans still have the right stuff, but we've changed our idea of what it is.

The cowboy at the beginning is Chuck Yeager, the legendary lone-wolf test pilot who survived the horrifying death rate among early test pilots. The movie begins with that victory, and then moves on another 10 years to when the Eisenhower administration hustled to get back into the space race.

Our astronauts were more than pilots; they were a public-relations image, and the movie shows sincere, smooth-talking John Glenn becoming their unofficial spokesman. The X-1 flew in secrecy, but the Mercury flights were telecast, and we were entering a whole new era, the selling of space.

The Right Stuff is an adventure film, a special effects film, a social commentary and a satire. That the writer-director, Philip Kaufman, is able to get so much into a little more than three hours is impressive. That he also has organized this material into one of the best recent American movies is astonishing.

It joins a short list of recent American movies that might be called experimental epics, along with "The Godfather," "Nashville," "Apocalypse Now" and maybe "Patton" and "Close Encounters." It's a great film. (R. Ebert)

The Right Stuff

Free show!

Sponsored by Fiske Planetarium and Grand Challenge Space Minor

Thu January 18, 2018, 7:30 PM, Muenzinger Auditorium

193min, USA, 1983, English, PG, Color, 35mm

recommend

Tickets

10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.

Parking

Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.

RTD Bus

Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

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