All moon-landing conspiracy theorists refuse to believe that the United States landed on that much-mythologized rock 250,00 miles away in 1969. As to why the rest of us believe that it did happen, moon-landing conspiracy theorists vary in the specifics of their stories. Perhaps the most interesting element of the lore — interesting to cinephiles, at least — holds that Stanley Kubrick, fresh off the production of 2001: A Space Odyssey, secretly shot the landing video seen across America in a studio, later cashing in on the favor by borrowing one of NASA’s custom-made Zeiss lenses to shoot 1975’s Barry Lyndon.
Kubrick died in 1999, and so can’t clear up the matter himself, unless you believe the “confession” video that circulated last year, convincing nobody but the already-convinced. But his daughter Vivian took to Twitter just this month to put the matter to rest herself, embedding an impassioned defense of her father’s integrity (and an encouragement to focus on the more plausible abuses of power quite possibly going on right this moment) that goes way beyond 140 characters:
“Vivian Kubrick worked on the set of The Shining with her father where she shot a behind-the-scenes making-of documentary about the film,” adds Variety‘s Lamarco McClendon. “Theorists have purported [Stanley] even used the film to admit to shooting the hoax by leaving behind clues. One such clue was Danny Lloyd wearing an Apollo 11 sweater.” The Shining has given rise to a fair few theories, conspiracy and otherwise, of its own, proving that Kubrick fans can get obsessive, watching and re-watching his work while seeking out symbols and patterns, seeing connections and drawing conclusions by building elaborate interpretive structures atop thin evidence. Come to think of it, you’d think they and the moon-landing conspiracy theorists would have a lot to talk about.
Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, the video series The City in Cinema, the crowdfunded journalism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Angeles Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.