WIN free passes to ACMI’s Star Voyager exhibition, an exploration of outer space on film – from Star Trek to the moon landing to Avatar.
“Space… the Final Frontier… a continuing mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations, to go boldly where no man has gone before.”
IT MAY be just a Star Trek quote, but in the age of video chat, $1 flights and information abundance, the prospect of going where no man has gone before seems even more impossible…and even more alluring. With most of Earth at the tips of our fingers, unexplored galaxies in an ever-expanding cosmos must surely ignite our curiosity like never before.
Are there aliens, other intelligent life forms, perhaps even civilisations?
What, if anything, is really out there?
But of course, we’re not the first to be curious. Over the course of history, generations upon generations have been fascinated by outer space; the stars, the planetary movements, the possibility of other worlds with other life forms.
In the second half of the 20th Century, the progress of space exploration was fuelled by Cold War tensions. For the first time, the “Space Race” between the United States and the Soviet Union saw two military powers compete for a dominance that would extend beyond our humble globe.
The strategic preoccupation with outer space certainly captured the public imagination. The American moon landing is still one of the most requested pieces of footage in most television archives, whilst the idea that Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for man” was in fact one giant hoax for mankind has kept conspiracy theorists busy for almost half a century.
In a way, space exploration holds our captivation precisely because so little can, and has been, proven. The lack of hard science concerning “what is out there” leaves a very blurry line between science and science fiction. Outer space provides a perfect canvas upon which we can project our desires, hopes, and fears. Whether it be James Cameron’s age-old formulaic hero adventure Avatar, or George Lucas’ epic Star Wars series in which good prevails over evil, the space genre in film provides the perfect fictional platform on which we can explore and evaluate some very real ideas and issues.
Star Voyager takes you on an expedition along that very fine line between fact and fiction. The exhibition charts the evolution of space on film – both fictional and documentary – from the very early films of Fitz Lang to the long-running scifi series Star Trek and blockbusters such as Aliens and A Space Odyssey.
The exhibition not only journeys through film’s portrayal of outer space, but through what is arguably a direct result of it – the development of the human psyche in relation to space exploration. Star Voyager brings to light the power of film in shaping our ideas about space, given that it is the only prism through which we view this largely unchartered realm. The exhibition looks at the changes in attitude that have arisen as film technology advances, and as we become more knowledgeable in answering the ultimate question: what the heck is actually out there?
Star Voyager thankfully includes some scientific background for those of us not well versed in astrology and rocket science. This is complemented by an audio information pack that is free to download over iTunes. The exhibition is somewhat lacking in interactive elements, but it more than compensates with a visually fulfilling tour through space shuttle equipment, space suit costumes and even real meteorites. At the end, be sure to check out the five-minute 3D film on Mars, which screens every 15 minutes.
To infinity, and beyond!
Thanks to ACMI, Meld has three double passes to Star Voyager: Exploring Space on Screen to give away. Simply be one of the first three people to go to our facebook page and tell us what your favourite space movie is.
Star Voyager: Exploring Space on Screen is open daily from 10am to 6pm until 29 January at ACMI, Federation Square. Tickets are $12 for students and can be purchased online or at the door. See the website for other ticket prices or to book tickets.