31 January 1971

Live from outer space

Sante Rudatis

Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

On 31 January 1971, the Apollo 14 mission to the Moon started, with the aim of landing on the lunar highlands. Cinematographer Sante Rudatis followed the mission from home, pointing the camera lens at the television set to capture all the main stages on film, for future reference. Extraordinary editions of the news programme are followed by exciting live coverage from space, from TV studios and from NASA's operations centres. The mission is a success condensed into the twelve exciting minutes stolen from television by Rudatis' film, almost an experimental science fiction film, of which we see brief excerpts. It will still be years before we have the necessary equipment at home to record television programmes. Video recorders are still a long way off, further than the moon, but as with so many events broadcast live on television, amateurs use the movie camera as a home proto-video recorder. A small step for amateur cinema and a big step for media archaeology.