Friday, 14 August 2009

The Dish

2000 - Dir.: Rob Sitch
Shown at The FeckenOdeon on 29th January, 2005

Just, for a moment, imagine that the powers that be had planted a great big satellite tracking dish on the outskirts of Feckenham - in the middle of the cricket field for instance. No, forget about the planning row - it's there. It's a fact - And it's about to be the single most important cog in the machine that's about to bring pictures to the world of the most spectacular event in the history of mankind... The Parish Council is swelling with civic pride, the pubs have ordered extra beer and everything is set and then one of Feckenham's legendary power cuts strikes. Transpose this scenario to the little town of Parkes in Australia and you have the story of "The Dish". In 1969 Parkes tracking station was the only one in the southern hemisphere capable of picking up the feeble signals from the Lunar Module at the time man first set foot on the Moon. Like many of the modern films we've shown at The FeckenOdeon "The Dish" looks at a big event through the eyes of ordinary people. The crew at Parkes made it possible for Neil Armstrong's "one small step for man" to be seen by six hundred million people, or one fifth of the world's population at the time. While "The Dish" may not be a "giant leap for mankind", it's a quietly moving film that delights in small things.
The film is set in the town of Parkes, in New South Wales, Australia, but was actually filmed in Forbes, which is a neighbouring town a few miles down the road. Parkes has changed over the last 30 years, but Forbes hasn't changed as much - Forbes still looked like a 1960s town, like Parkes did 30 years before.

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