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Today’s the day, the fortieth anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s moon landing, and as Brian Sholis writes in Artforum, it’s the perfect opportunity to revisit the Apollo program and think about the future of space exploration (Aldrin has his eyes set on Mars!). “Criterion has contributed to the effort,” says Sholis, “by releasing on DVD and Blu-Ray Al Reinert’s magnificent 1989 documentary For All Mankind.” In the Los Angeles Times, Dennis Lim calls the film “a remarkable feat of assemblage,” and writes that “in striving for a kind of cosmic poetry, in privileging sensory experience above all else, For All Mankind remains a one-of-a-kind artifact.” Michael Wilmington, reviewing the film for Movie City News, grandly exclaims that it “plays like one of the great science fiction epics . . . Reinert gives us something comparable in its extraterrestrial lyricism, strangeness, and galactic rapture to Kubrick’s 2001.” And in their glowing evaluation of the Blu-ray edition, the folks at Home Theater Forum call For All Mankind nothing less than “one of the most engrossing documentaries of human endeavor and achievement ever committed to film.”
Also of interest: the New York Times’s special section on the historic moon landing.
Update (21 JUL 09): In the Huffington Post, Michael Glitz calls For All Mankind an “engaging, gorgeous, and thrilling documentary”; and PBS’s Online NewsHour has a downloadable audio interview with Al Reinert, who himself says the new Criterion edition is "the best those pictures have ever looked.”