Watched Duncan Jones' "Moon" last night (possible spoilers)
Where 2001 failed to snare me emotionally Moon delivered with brilliant force, quiet and pensively, patient in its delivery. Sam Rockwell is a great actor and those stylists really did a number on him; seeing him side-by-side with a dying version of himself is shocking.
There’s something very powerful about even the posters for this film. The sorta-retro minimalist feel of the main ad motif really drives home, for me, just how little time means in space. Sam’s character, aptly named Sam, spends most of the first half of the film focusing solely on fulfilling the last two weeks of his 3-year contract as an energy harvester on the moon, but from the get-go, the tone and pacing of the story tells immediately that this time fixation is a problem. There’s something wrong here. And as these stories go, no matter how much we don’t want bad things to happen, the truth is often just as cruel as we expect. The posters also do a fantastic job of depicting the complete alienation of a man (which in this context is very interesting, for a genre that is well known for its extra-terrestrial threats).
While I definitely have some questions about some of the content in the film itself, its spookiness and the purveying sense of being so completely alone - and going crazy, or not? - left me feeling I’d spent some time on the moon, myself. Jones’ seeming innate understanding of the vastness of space is completely understandable if you are aware that he is David Bowie’s son; or perhaps Bowie’s Ziggy persona is made all the more clear by Jones’ disambiguation of how cold and empty space is?
Kevin Spacey does a fantastic job voicing Sam’s sole companion, the HAL-inspired robot Gerty. His synthetic benevolent-words-patronizing-tone persona was perfectly crafted to suit their sterile environment, while his body remained clunky and well-used, broken in. I was relieved (and slightly offput) by his eventual kindness; compared to 2001's HAL, Gerty is downright cuddly and his emoticons are precious.
One of my favorite parts of the film is actually the simple display of Gerty’s most surprising emoticon (crying). Somehow, this robot is both the perpetual optimist the audience wants to be and the feeling bystander.
In terms of aesthetics alone, I was blown away by how visually stunning it was for a small-budget picture. This being Jones’ debut film, I expect this has opened many a door for him, especially with his usage of old-school sci-fi filmmaking techniques, such as implementing models instead of straight CGI. Everything is dirty or dingy and worn, from the space suits to Sam’s bedroom to Gerty. Two-thirds of the way into the film and everything feels like it’s covered in dust and sweat and blood. And again, the stylists really did a fantastic job with Sam’s physical deterioration.
All in all, I’m completely awed. More than I want to watch this again with someone, I want to talk about it. One of the main themes in Moon is the process of communication, how simple messages can be manipulated and controlled, both in their physical delivery and their emotional interpretation. Less so a testament to the dubious future of technology itself, Moon smartly focuses on a very real, immediate threat: the emotionless, unsympathetic greed of man.
If you type in ‘filmmaking’ into Amazon, you’ll get a billion titles. There’s tons of books available on the industry and craft, and in the past ten years I feel like I’ve read just about every one. Generally, the ‘making it in the film business’ books boil down to one thing - write / procure a…
If you could remake any film of your choice, which one would it be and why?
I'm pretty sure I haven't asked you this question yet. At least I hope not.
You totally did ask me this before, but I now have an answer! I recently learned that Clive Barker’s Hellraiser (1987) was slated for a remake, but that was like back in ‘07, and though it’s supposed to be released in ‘12, I’m a bit skeptical since the project’s been dropped twice already. I’d definitely remake Hellraiser. It’s such a good story, but the film is so dated by now that it doesn’t pack a fraction of the punch it could. I think it’d benefit 110% from an update.
I love your posts here! Especially the photographs of old movie greats. So, what are some of your favorite movies? Actors or actresses? Do you have any movies (or actors, or actresses) that you just can't stand?
Thank you! <3 I’m usually more into posting video clips, so most of the film stills or photos I post are reblogs. Credit goes to the awesome film blogs I follow :)
The favorite movies question always gets me ‘cause I love soso many, but just to name a few off the top of my head, - Hedgehog in the Fog (1954), by Yuriy Norshteyn - The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), dir. by Karl Th. Dreyer - Dreams (1990), dir. by Akira Kurosawa - Sans Soleil (1983), dir. by Chris Marker -Velvet Goldmine (1998), dir. by Todd Haynes - not because it’s particularly well-written, but because it’s fun, gorgeous to look at and the soundtrack is so damn good
I’m not very good at remembering actors’/actresses’ names…
I can’t stand rape-revenge films of any sort (I Spit On Your Grave), or fantasy fetish-fests about barely legal girls in tinytiny clothes kicking some major ass, bro (Sucker Punch). I’m also always cautious of stoner comedies ‘cause they bore me. In terms of actors, Vince Vaugn creeps me out, though I admire how tall he is. I’m also not a fan of most films starring Angelina Jolie; I’d rather see her play a real person, unromanticized and ugly, without all that I’m-so-troubled/I-can-and-will-fuck-you-up fluffy bullshit she’s often given. Also, Dane Cook. Kill it with fire.
I’m sorry these answers are so lame. I really do have a super-strong background in film history! I’m just blanking today. Does anyone wanna add to this??? (please do)