Coleman, Simpson to introduce ‘The Wonderful’ for Garden Cinemas debut

  • COLEMAN

  • The Garden Cinemas on Main Street in Greenfield. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

  • Cady Coleman posters in the window of the Garden Cinemas on Main Street in Greenfield. Coleman is featured in “The Wonderful: Stories From the Space Station,” which will be screened at the theater for the next week. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 9/16/2021 4:41:11 PM

GREENFIELD — Cady Coleman loves to talk about her travels.

The Shelburne Falls resident has been all over the nation and the world for training and public speaking engagements. But her trip to the International Space Station is her most unique experience.

Tales of the multinational collaborative in low Earth orbit, as told by Coleman and numerous other space travelers, are chronicled in the new documentary “The Wonderful: Stories From the Space Station,” which is set to debut for one week at the Garden Cinemas starting Friday.

Becoming an astronaut enrolls a person into a pretty exclusive club of about 500. The same, perhaps, could be said for the role of astronaut’s spouse or astronaut’s child. As a result, Coleman’s husband, renowned glass artist Josh Simpson, and youngest son, Jamey Simpson, are featured in the film to share their own unique perspectives.

Coleman and the elder Simpson are scheduled to introduce the film and answer questions after Sunday’s 6:30 p.m. showing. Jamey Simpson will be absent because he is away at college.

“I treasure it, just getting to hear my family’s point of view,” Coleman said. “It’s a beautiful film.”

Coleman took flights on a NASA space shuttle in 1995 and 1999, and launched from Kazakhstan to the International Space Station in December 2010, returning to Earth in May 2011.

“It’s a very special place to go and it meant a lot to me … to be able to share that experience with people,” she said from Florida, where she co-hosted a Netflix/TIME livestream of the SpaceX launch on Wednesday. “It actually meant a lot to me to hear my family’s story.”

She recalled helping her children with homework via radio calls to Earth. She logged more than 4,330 hours in space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia and the International Space Station.

Josh Simpson said his family has about 20 minutes of screentime in the film. He said he and his son spoke about what it is like to have a loved one train for years for a mission and then literally leave the planet.

“I was worried a lot. I worried all the time. Until I realized there really wasn’t anything I could do at all to make her safer or prevent anything bad from happening. It’s about understanding and accepting risks. That works until the moment you get to, ‘Five, four, three …”’ he said, “and then everything gets thrown out the window and you get stressed about it.”

He said he and Coleman have gotten used to being away from each other during their 24 years of marriage, as she lived much of the year in Houston while he lived and ran his studio in Shelburne Falls. He said he has flown 3 million miles between Bradley International Airport in Connecticut and Texas, and is still one of American Airlines’ Platinum members. He said Jamey became Continental Airlines’ youngest Platinum member at 2½ years old.

Garden Cinemas co-owner Isaac Mass said he sits on the Greenfield Community College board of trustees with Coleman and was inspired to ask her if she would introduce the documentary if he did the legwork to get a copy of the film from Variance Films. Mass said “The Wonderful” has already been released in New York City and Los Angeles.

“It’s amazing — the cinematography, what they’re able to capture,” he said. “The interviews are very, very compelling.”

Mass noted the debut and the question-and-answer session were scheduled so as to not compete with the Franklin County Fair.

“We wouldn’t want Cady to have to compete with racing pigs, for sure,” Mass said.

The film also features Samantha Cristoforetti, the first Italian woman in space; Peggy Whitson, the oldest woman spacewalker and first woman to command the ISS twice; Coleman’s crewmate Scott Kelly, the twin brother of former astronaut and U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly; and Frank Culbertson, the only American citizen not on Earth when the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks occurred.

According to NASA, the 450-ton ISS has been continuously occupied since November 2000. It is a football field’s length and travels around Earth at 17,500 miles per hour, with its solar arrays stretching out more than an acre.

Tickets are available at gardencinemas.net. The trailer can be viewed at bit.ly/3lt0VJb.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.




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