EIFF Review: Lunarcy!

-Brad Jones

A thoroughly charming look at people who can’t get enough of that moon.

Lunarcy! is a perfect example of a film that knows exactly what it’s setting out to do and executes it perfectly. Nothing about this documentary reaches particularly far, but in knowing its constraints, the film manages to be far more than the sum of its parts.

Following several lunar enthusiasts including Dennis Hope, the entrepreneur who happened upon the idea of selling real estate on the moon and the astronaut turned lunar artist Alan Bean, the film meanders along, introducing subjects at a gentle pace before a group discussion and a more introspective finale that centres around Christopher Carson, who despite his own admission of being socially awkward has no problem charming audiences with his unwavering optimism and relentless drive to leave the planet. In lesser hands, Carson would no doubt provide a cheap punch line, but director Simon Ennis treats him with the respect that someone following their passion no matter how far fetched it may sound deserves. The light textual narration that lends an authorial voice to proceedings will occasionally poke fun at one of the films subjects, but it feels more like a joke amongst friends rather than anything mean spirited.

The setup of Lunarcy! is nothing too unique, adhering fairly closely to the tropes of special interest/human interest hybrid documentaries that were particularly rampant in the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, the subjects are all suitably interesting and likeable and as such, spending an hour and a half in their company is very enjoyable.

4 STARS

-Brad saw Lunarcy! as part of Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013

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