10 Deceitful Movies That Lied About Film-Making

7. Dark Side Of The Moon (William Karel, 2002)

Darkside Of The Moon "It's a fabrication - a myth of the media...it has it's own life" - Werner Herzog In the aforementioned quote Herzog was speaking about the myth that claims he once directed Klaus Kinski with a loaded pistol. But he may as well have been talking about our next film, which concentrates on the Kubrick Moon Landing Hoax conspiracy. As you will see, this film is a sort of ultra-ludicrous homage to #1 on our list. Like with our previous example, one of the main tactics of deception that the mockumentary genre tends to exploit is the amount of trust we place in conventions. In this example, we see how the tv documentary format has been appropriated- as such a model has often been replicated and therefore become familiar to and trusted by viewers. William Karel's Dark Side Of The Moon is a mockumentary of the documentary which aired on ARTE television. Karel has managed to manufacture a clever "documentary" which argues that Stanley Kubrick filmed the moon landings for NASA in return for being allowed to use a one-of-a-kind Zeiss lens for the shooting of the candlelight vigil scene in Barry Lyndon. He utilizes deception in a number of ways- on a number of levels- while keeping things just realistic enough to make you believe that what you are hearing,- despite it's explicit absurdity...at least at first. You eventually catch on after things become totally ridiculous, and the whole thing is revealed to be a fa├žade. A few elements that keep you hooked at the beginning include: your susceptibility to accept the truth of what you hear because of the format; the inclusion of credible political figures who could have been plausibly privy to such knowledge (like Rumsfeld, Kissinger et al.); and the fact that Kubrick's wife was in on the ruse. The tactics of deception that Karel utilizes include: using fake interviews with fake people; purposefully mistranslating foreign dialogue; and misleading real interviewees with fake questions- as well as what the true nature of the program was really about. Some explicitly absurd elements that reveal the film to be a mockery of the documentary include: the fact that the fake-former head of the CIA is French; the nature of the voiceovers edited over images from the lunar missions; the fake characters having names based off of characters in Kubrick films; and even certain shots...like the clip of that guy throwing his dog into a pond...which is slipped in there somewhere. In the end, as Henry Taylor points out in his essay "More Than A Hoax", "Dark Side of the Moon raises critical questions about documentary's generic conventions and viewers' assumptions regarding factual authority. It interrogates the complex relationship between images and sounds in film generally, raises questions of narrative unreliability, and is, last but not least, also about the nature of popular culture's fascination with conspiracy theories." In short, it challenges the viewer to really pay attention and critically analyze what they are seeing and hearing. The conspiracy still lives on to this day, and I'm willing to bet some of it's proponents will cite this film as evidence.
Contributor

I'm Josh. I was born and raised in the Niagara region. I'm an avid cinephile, dedicated archivist and pirate. I'm also an anarcho-punk fan that rides a bike, enjoys going on hikes, and really likes fruit....a sort of hippy-punk hybrid, if you will. I graduated from Brock University with an Honours degree in Political Science and an unofficial minor in Film. I enjoy writing learning, reading and writing about politics, film, and punk related issues. I hit shows in TO pretty often and look forward to checking out new films at TIFF every September.