The team behind ‘First Man’ aims to de-mythologize the space program

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Even for those of us born decades after the event itself, Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon remain among history’s most iconic and indelible images. Can a Hollywood movie tell us anything new about that moment?

With “First Man” (which opens today), “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle certainly tries. The film climaxes with an eerie and beautiful dramatization of Apollo 11, and with Armstrong’s famous words about a giant leap for mankind. But it’s what comes before that feels revelatory — the film’s fastidious attention to the training, the mistakes and the disasters that all led up to that moment.

Most of those details come from real life, according to screenwriter Josh Singer (who won an Oscar for

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