Conquering Space (1989)

  |  Short


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6 June 2004 | bob the moo
Interesting if poorly filled family drama
When she was a teenager, Janet's father moved to yet another new area as part of his job with NASA. Her mother doesn't want to be there while her father dreams of being part of a mission that will put a man on the moon. Janet remembers the summer when they arrived – when her father taught her to drive and she met her first boyfriend at the gas station.

I saw this film as part of the Short Story Cinema series and was slightly upset to find that it resembled all the other shorts in the series – same look, same sort of feel and same sort of score. However each story is different so I always give them a go. In essence this film looks at the story of a family being broken up by the father's drive for his job and for some of the film it contrasts this well with the space race and the way that space gets a personal meaning. If only it had been better written then this could have been good but, as it is, it is only interesting. The story involves quite a lot of stuff that doesn't fit into the film well – in a longer film maybe more could have been done with the job background, the family background, the relationships and the garage guy but in a short there is not enough time and you need to be punchy. However too much of it doesn't really work and it leaves only a few strong elements to carry the film to the point where the ending and the drama has meaning for the audience – a feat it doesn't totally manage to pull off.

The cast can't do a great deal either as their characters don't have a great deal of depth, they are just give emotions to deliver and that is what they do. So Koock does cheerful and then later does broken. Likewise Heflin delivers her performance as a tired woman but nothing more, not really a problem since her character is simply. As narrator, the character of Janet should have been interesting as the focus of the film but she isn't and Stewart's delivery isn't very good.

Overall this is an interesting idea but it doesn't do a great deal with it that works. The short running time required tight delivery and a tightly woven story that it doesn't have. At times it is good and mostly it was interesting enough for me to keep watching but ultimately it left me feeling quite separate from the family's story just as much as I was at the start of the film.

Did You Know?


Written by
Lee Pockriss & Paul Vance
Courtesy of Paul Vance Publishing Company & Emily Music







Country of Origin


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