Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Dish (2000)


When I heard the sad news on 25th August that Neil Armstrong had died, I immediately thought that I had to watch The Dish again.  Set in 1969, this is the very uplifting story of the largest radio telescope in the southern hemisphere, (which happens to be in the middle of sheep paddock in Parkes - a small town in Australia), and the people who are involved in bringing the live pictures of Neil and Buzz taking their first steps on the moon to the world.  I absolutely love this film, it is heart-warming, uplifting and cracks me up every time I see it.  The cast are all superb; Sam Neill is Cliff Buxton (the director of the dish), and it is down to him, his colleagues Mitch (Kevin Harrington) and Glenn (Tom Long), as well as NASA representative Al (Patrick Warburton) to make sure they stay in contact with Apollo 11.  The film works so well because of the Australian sense of humour, particularly from the Mayor of Parkes (Roy Billing) and the Prime Minister (Billie Brown) who are both wonderful; and the cultural differences between the Australians and the visiting Americans.  A truly wonderful film that always brings a smile to my face and a lump to my throat as we see some of the effort that went into bringing us pictures of the greatest moment in modern history, culminating in perhaps the most famous phrase of modern history.

That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.

Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)