Saturday, 3 April 2010

Two intelligent sci-fis - highly recommended

Just a quick post to point out 2 impressive films using science-fiction to explore aspects of 21st century life:

Moon (2009)- which has been widely acclaimed - uses the isolated setting of a moon base to examine the effects of technology and big business on the individual. Sam Rockwell is brilliant in a physically demanding role, and the direction is very assured for Duncan Jones' debut film. But I'd be interested in hearing what you think about the movie, which I found to be very sad at times, humorous in others - and is definitely not traditional Hollywood. It deals with aspects of what is needed to actually care for a human being in space, or anywhere. Let's not underestimate the value of human beings and interaction with a community, or things might end up like they do here. Won't say any more, or I'll spoil it!

Sunshine (2007), on the other hand, is a more traditional popcorn movie, with astronauts in the near future on a quest to reignite the dying Sun. Cue angst and electric tension as the crew face various setbacks along the way, and a few fatalies - but before the story veers totally into "horror" territory, I was hooked by the fascinating (and morbid) reinterpretation of the Sun, as the one who gives us life and (it is suggested) has the right to take it away. Themes of sun-worship recur many times, as our Sun is suggested to be a marvel, a killer, a hope for humanity, or even a way to a euphoric experience of death. It's this way of looking things, and a strong cast, that intrigues throughout, and I genuinely wasn't quite sure what would happen when they finally got to the Sun. Can they blow up the heart of this star, this huge powerful machine which powers so much on earth, and which has been the whole purpose and focus of their lives for the past three years?
Also you have to love the last scene, which is quite a subtle way to end the movie.

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