Wilton Town Hall Theatre to host UFO Festival

Published: 10/8/2020 2:29:30 PM

A sci-fi adventure hailed as the first feature film to depict realistic space travel will be screened as part of a three-day UFO/Big Foot Film Festival this weekend at the Wilton Town Hall Theatre.

“Woman in the Moon” (1929), directed by German filmmaker Fritz Lang (“Metropolis”, 1927), will be screened with live music on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 2 p.m.

The screening is part of the Greater New England UFO Conference and Film Festival, which runs from Friday, Oct. 9 through Sunday, Oct. 11. For more information on the three-day festival, which also focuses on the legendary ‘Big Foot’ creature, visit www.newenglandufo.com.

The rarely seen full-length version of “Woman in the Moon” follows an intrepid band of space pioneers as they attempt mankind’s first voyage to the lunar surface, where they hope to find large deposits of gold.

The film, made with German rocket experts as technical advisers, anticipated many of the techniques used by NASA for the Apollo moon launch program 40 years later.

The film is also noted for introducing the idea of a dramatic “countdown” prior to launch, which later became standard procedure in actual space flight. Critics regard the film’s extended launch sequence as a masterpiece of editing and dramatic tension.

But “Woman in the Moon”, with its melodramatic plot, also stands as the forerunner of many sci-fi soap opera elements that quickly became clichés: the brilliant but misunderstood professor; a love triangle involving a female scientist and her two male crewmates; a plucky young boy who yearns to join the expedition; fistfights and gunfire and treachery on the lunar surface.

“This is a great and at-times bizarre film, one that must be seen to be believed,” said Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based silent film accompanist who will create live music for the screening.

As one of the last silent films of German cinema, “Woman in the Moon” was unable to compete with new talking pictures then in theaters, making it a box office flop at its premiere in October 1929.

“Although ‘Woman in the Moon’ is available for home viewing, this is a motion picture that should be experienced as intended: on the big screen, with live music, and with an audience,” Rapsis said. “There’s nothing like it.”

Admission is free and the screening is open to the public; a donation of $10 per person is suggested.


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