America and Tom Cruise have lost the Space Race – The A.V. Club

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Yulia Peresild

Yulia Peresild
Photo: DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images

Six decades after Yuri Gagarin was gently ushered off the surface of our planet and out into orbit—with his life as an Earth-man coming to an end while he was born anew as the galaxy’s first space-man… and then born anew again as an Earth-man when he landed back on the ground—Russia has dealt the United States another crushing defeat in the Space Race. Russia was the first country to put a man in space, and soon it will be the first country to film a movie in space, proving once and for all that socialism really was the way to go. America beefed that one pretty hard, huh?

This comes from Euronews, which says a pair of Russian filmmakers—director Klim Shipenko and actor Yulia Peresild—are heading up into space today to begin working on the first-ever movie filmed in orbit. Titled The Challenge, the movie will be filmed on the International Space Station and will be produced by Russian space agency Roscosmos and partially state-owned broadcaster Channel One.

The plot of The Challenge involves a doctor going up into space so she can perform an operation on an astronaut, with actual professional astronaut Anton Shkaplerov both serving as the main duo’s mission commander and appearing in the film (presumably as the astronaut). In a statement, he said that he’s impressed by how Shipenko and Peresild have “showed themselves” and how they clearly want this “space experiment” to be “implemented at the best level, the best international level.”

The reason this is a devastating indictment of the inherent foolishness and disgusting excesses of the West is not just due to the fact that it was Russians who beat America in the all-important “film a movie in space” competition, but because they specifically beat out a very high-profile American attempt. Last year, we reported that Tom Cruise was planning to film what would’ve been the first movie shot in space, with NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX on board to help him achieve that goal, but now he’ll just end up being another also-ran space-loser like Alan Shepard.

Tom Cruise’s space movie probably would’ve been more exciting than The Challenge, since he would’ve done some enormously stupid stunt that would’ve gotten him killed, but the lesson we should all take away from this is that doing things the enormously stupid/American way doesn’t always pay off. There were 50 years or so in there where it seemed like things had worked out for us, but now we’ve got one country making a movie in space and another country obliterating its ankle on a seemingly straightforward rooftop leap. Metaphorically.

Then again… America does love moving the goalposts when it comes to the Space Race. We “won” by putting a man on the moon even though they were the first to put a man in space, so what if Tom Cruise can be the first person to release a movie made in space?

He wouldn’t need to be the first one up there, he just needs to be the first one to get his movie out to the public. Euronews says the Challenge shoot will take 12 days, which should give the United States plenty of time to strap Tom Cruise to a rocket and blast his ass out of the atmosphere. We’re doing this, baby! Bitter and dehumanizing capitalism forever! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

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