Intriguing profile of astronaut and polymath Story Musgrave ultimately fails to win over the unconvinced, although "Story" has a wealth of information for the sympathetically inclined. Trimming to a tube hour or less would help get the word out.

A correction was made to this review on Dec. 22, 2003.

Intriguing profile of astronaut and polymath Story Musgrave ultimately fails to win over the unconvinced, although “Story” has a wealth of information for the sympathetically inclined. Trimming to a tube hour or less would help get the word out.

The well-named Mr. Musgrave is not only the oldest astronaut to have flown past the stratosphere — he did a space walk at 61 — he’s also an accomplished surgeon, chemist, mathematician, artist and computer scientist, who joined NASA in 1967. And Story’s a heck of a talker, since Romanian-born helmer Dana Ranga (she assembled the Iron Curtain musicals compendium “East Side Story”) is able to fill almost 90 minutes with nothing but anecdotal palaver — some a bit too glib to have much emotional impact. Musgrave is filmed in just two locations: a forest outside of Berlin; and a broom closet, meant to evoke the cramped quarters of space travel, and, perhaps, to turn the subject’s bald head into a mysterious mini-planet. Flow of words would have sat nicely on a larger canvas.

Story

Germany

Production

A Good Idea Films production. (International sales: Good Idea, Berlin.) Produced by Peter Hintz. Directed, written by Dana Ranga.

Crew

Camera (color, BetaSP), Francisco Gozon, Ranga; editor, Thomas Wellman; music, Miron Jakupovic. (English dialogue.) Reviewed at Vancouver Film Festival (Nonfiction Features) Oct. 7, 2003. Running time: 87 MIN.

With

Story Musgrave.
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