“Are we going to bury Mom in the yard?”
“Like a dog?”
“It’s what she always wanted.”
Getting Outer Space, released in 2010, is the only narrative feature we’re showing before Mardi Gras. It’s a farce, but the kind of farce where the characters accomplish serious emotional work. In parts it reads like a play, the dialogue pinging back and forth. The shots are long and beautiful, of the South in winter and a house that’s too big. The two main characters, Neil and Travis, spend the film rebuilding their relationship after their Mom dies. Neil is the estranged protagonist. It’s his father, a wealthy inventor, who encouraged his boyhood dream of space, but then ultimately abandoned the family for his own adventures. Left to split the estate, the young men must learn how to get along again.
It is decided that the best thing to do post-mortem is build a rocket. The boys bicker as the story waivers between faith in Neil’s leadership and doubt that the whole experiment in building family ties and blasting off is going to work in real life.
The final space sequence, the climax of the film and a hard one to pull off, is well done. Shot simply, like a dream, it shows the audience why Neil is the way he is. Neil finds what he needs to find, and ultimately chooses to become what his family needs him to be.
Getting Outer Space was written and directed by Evan Falbaum, a filmmaker from Shreveport. He owns Moviesauce Films, and produces documentaries, music videos, and shorts. GOS was his first feature. In parts is feels as such, the acting could be better and occasionally the story drags. But waiting for the climax is worth it. Throughout, the film is well-shot and edited, and it acknowledges it’s “first film” feel. It’s quiet, funny, and beautiful. I’ll be interested to follow where Evan goes from here.
Getting Outer Space is definitely worth seeing. Watch the trailer here.