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Operation Avalanche

Quebec Premiere
  • Canada
  • 2016
  • 94 mins
  • DCP
  • English
Hosted by Director/Co-Writer/Actor Matt Johnson & members of the cast & crew

Official Selection: Sundance 2016, SXSW 2016, Hot Docs 2016

“Sharp, hilarious, and endlessly inventive… a conspiracy movie for people who don’t believe in conspiracies” – J.R. Kinnard, POP OPTIQ

“A sly act of movie love… a portrait of a time period when our whole relationship with the filmed image was beginning to change” – Bilge Ebiri, VULTURE

“This wild, borderline-illegal stunt (for which the improv-ready filmmakers “infiltrated” locations such as NASA and Shepperton Studios in character) delivers big time on its crazy premise” – Peter Debruge, VARIETY

The time is 1967. The Cold War is in full bloom and the United States is a place of queasy paranoia masked by forced cheerleader bravado. The CIA is worried that NASA may have been infiltrated by a Russian mole with the intent of derailing the crucial-to-national-confidence Apollo program. A pair of young agents come up with a ploy to be sent into NASA, posing as documentary filmmakers covering the space program, where they can use their access to openly record happenings in plain sight and surely uncover any nefarious activity. They quickly learn that NASA is kind of a mess and will never be able to meet Kennedy’s much-boasted-about target date of 1969. The film-geek agents convince NASA to trust them in their knowledge of resourceful in-camera special effects, and perhaps… fake the moon landing in full view of the entire world.

If you saw and adored Matt Johnson’s extraordinary THE DIRTIES several years back, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Re-teaming with co-conspirator Owen Williams to once again play self-named filmmakers out to pull off an astounding act of clandestine filmmaking, Johnson and his gang have made one of the most fascinating faux doc-styled works we’ve seen in years, electric with a love for cinema, storytelling and the filmmaking process itself, with tentacles plunging deep into the weirder aspects of history and conspiracy theories. And yes, Kubrick factors into it. It also features an incredible and clearly dangerous single-take car chase. Relentlessly impressive, this is the film that proves THE DIRTIES was no fluke, announcing on very absolute terms the arrival of a major new talent on the Canadian cinema landscape.

— Mitch Davis