“Shooting at the Moon” is a dialogue-free eight-minute film shot in grainy black-and-white Super 8mm, and the cinematography (by two women named Jennifer) is so murky that it looks like the film’s production was illuminated by moonlight.
The film opens in the Mayflower Diner in beautiful downtown Milford, Connecticut. A young man and a young woman buy milk shakes at the counter. The man pours the contents of a flask into his shake. The couple then begin dancing, although it is not certain whether any music is playing in the diner. There is plenty of music on the soundtrack–wall-to-wall rock songs by someone named Billy Childish.
The next day, the young man (who may be ill, judging by his wobbly walk) tries to gain access to the woman’s apartment, but his knocking goes unacknowledged and he passes out in the hallway outside of her residence. He arrives later when she is home, but she is entertaining another man who is wearing a sleeveless t-shirt and a porkpie hat. The young man sits on a mattress on the floor until the strangely-costumed interloper leaves. He gets off the mattress to embrace the woman, but she is unreceptive to his charms.
Nobody actually shoots the moon or anything else here. As points of interest: the man in the sleeveless t-shirt and porkpie hat is co-director Jesse Richards, who identifies himself in the film’s press kit as having been arrested and briefly jailed for reckless burning, destruction of property and disorderly conduct. Fortunately for him, based on his appearance here, the fashion police never caught up to him. The Mayflower Diner has since shut its doors, so this film may be the only celluloid record of whatever glory it possessed. Leila Laraaj is the young woman in the film and she is quite photogenic, even in bad Super 8mm. Matthew Martin is the young man and he goes through half of the film wearing Elvis Costello’s old eyeglasses. They actually look better on Elvis Costello.