Great New Trailer for ‘First Man’ Uses JFK Speech to Chilling Effect

     September 19, 2018


Universal Pictures has released a third trailer for First Man, and it’s the best one yet. This is the new film from Best Director Oscar winner Damien Chazelle, but it’s markedly different than his breakout features Whiplash and La La Land. This film tells the story of the journey to go to the moon through the eyes of Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), but Chazelle and screenwriter Josh Singer (The Post) frame the tale as one of great courage and loss. Indeed, the space program was incredibly dangerous, and Armstrong in particular was surrounded by death all the way up through his groundbreaking achievement. The film puts the viewers in the cockpit right alongside Armstrong and his fellow astronauts, and the sense of danger is palpable.

This trailer doesn’t showcase any dialogue from the film, and instead is a montage of scenes set to President John F. Kennedy’s famous “We choose to go to the moon…” speech. It’s chilling, as Kennedy notes the difficulties that America will face in its mission while we see Chazelle’s gorgeous, haunting images flash across the screen.

I caught First Man at TIFF and it’s very good, although for me it never hit the highs that La La Land did. Cinematographer Linus Sandren (La La Land) opts for a naturalistic, handheld, very intimate take on the visuals, and the result is something incredibly visceral—as you can see in this trailer. It’s kind of like if Terrence Malick directed a space epic. And yes, the American flag is seen throughout the film, including on the moon.

Check out the new First Man trailer below, click here to read Matt’s review from TIFF, and click here to watch Steve’s interview with Chazelle and Sandgren from TIFF. The film also stars Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Patrick Fugit, Corey Stoll, and Kyle Chandler. First Man opens in traditional theaters and in IMAX on October 12th.

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