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July 21, 2009
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“OK, you two. Let’s hear it.”
“Thank you, sir. Let me take you forward several generations. Man’s scientific accomplishments are many and vast and comprehensive, but one thing still eludes us.”
“No, no, not extra terrestrial life. No, the thing that has evaded our grasp, the thing that we are still no further forward in properly understanding, is, as G.K. Chesterton said, the interlocking riddles that live in every human heart. Imagine, then, if you will, sir, a discussion, a discussion on board a space ship hurtling towards its destruction. The computer has malfunctioned, it wants to obliterate its human operators. After damage suffered in an asteroid storm, one of the arsenal of on-board thermonuclear bombs develops a personality and threatens to detonate while still in the ship.”
“Cool. Lots of CG-…”
“Well, no, sir, not really. Not a special effects sort of movie. What happens next is that the crew members try to talk the bomb out of blowing up. What we actually get is a lesson on the basics of phenomenology, essentially concerning ourselves with making the structures of consciousness, and the phenomena which appear in acts of consciousness, objects of systematic reflection and analysis. Unfortunately, the bomb misinterprets the exercise in phenomenology and believes itself to be God and explodes. Killing everyone.”
“Jumping Jack Christ.”
“What a depressing fucking movie. No-one will want to go and see that. What else you got?”
“There’s the thing about the guy on the moon?”
“No, don’t be silly. OK, er…how about this? We take an age old story; Shakespeare, he’s universal and timeless. Stay with me. And we transplant it to space.”
“Careful, you guys.”
“Sure, sure, OK. This military style group land on a planet where the colony transmitters have been silent for some time. The colony has perished, but surviving is one old scientist and his daughter.”
“She hot? I see Angelina, or Megan.”
“Naomi? Sorry, man…carry on.”
“Jeez. Apologies, sir. Well, the point is that although she’s beautiful, she’s also brilliant, but more importantly she’s never seen humans before. We weedle the psychology out of that. You see, there is a monster, the Id, an original inhabitant of the planet, made manifest, a direct and fearlessly Freudian amalgam of our fears of sexual abandonment and parental influence. Flush with symbolism, the girl’s father fosters an unstated jealousy over the sexual attentions forced on his daughter by the earth visitors.”
“You destroyed two things there, fellas; my boner, and any chance of ever getting that movie made.”
“But, sir.”
“Science fiction is great, buddy, but fucking leave the intellect outta things. Sheesh. People want babes and explosions and guys with muscles running around with their tops off. Look at the money charts. Transformers, Terminator, Keanu. There’s robots and death rays and all the space travel the geeks can squeeze outta their Macs, but is there any fancy thinking shit?”
“Not really, no.”
“No, sir.”
“No. There is not. So, do you two have anything for me at all?”
“The moo-..”
“We, ah, we got a thing about alien artefacts.”
“Try that.”
“OK, this alien plinth is discovered. Seems it comes along every time there’s a leap in human evolution due. Like, y’know, we’re being given a hand? Anyhoo, we’re not interested in a literal story about evolution and space adventures, but instead we want to go on an allegorical journey incorporating different aspects of philosophical, religious and literary concepts.”
“We do?”
“Sir. In particular, Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. You know, the potential of mankind? Nietzsche said that man is a bridge between the ape and the Superman? We want to explore that.”
“The only thing that’s gonna get explored, son, is your ass with my boot. Now what in the name of shit is this Moon story your best bud keeps mentioning. And say nothing for a minute, because your ideas ain’t worth shit.”
“Er, it’s about a guy on the moon. He discovers something creepy. Gets weirded out. Has a breakdown, A rescue mission sets off from earth and he just gets more and more unhinged. Deaths and madness. We kinda thought Sam Rockwell, maybe Spacey if he’s free.”
‘Much better, much better. Done deal. I’ll see you two on the circuit. And guys, glad we got there in the end. Remember, people don’t want to think. OK? Ciao ciao.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Goodbye, sir!…ssh, let him go…OK, what was that? Some guy, creeps, deaths and rescue? You nuts? What about Tarkovsky? What about Lem? What about the inhumanity of loneliness and the terror of being of no importance? What about the acting, the engaging one-man tour de force and the introduction of such weighty themes as memory, identity and social alienation? What about all that?”
“Dude, get real. You think that’ll get us an audience? Christ. I thought you understood the movies.”

7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2009 3:39 pm

    I’m just skimming this review until I see the film tomorrow. But I am looking forward to it even more now.

  2. amner permalink*
    July 21, 2009 3:40 pm

    There’s no spoilers, JS, I assure you! But, yes, I am the same…don’t want to get too prejudiced with info or opinion.

  3. July 21, 2009 3:54 pm

    Yeah I know, I’ve read it all now (couldn’t resist). So, er, you’re going to have to tell me what the first two movies referred to are… 😳

  4. July 21, 2009 3:56 pm

    I’ll wait until the other 25 people who read TGD come along in the next day or two…don’t wanna ruin the alleged ‘fun’.

  5. Elizabeth Thomas permalink
    July 22, 2009 3:59 am

    I should have known better than to seek out the amnerian apéritif for ‘Moon’ just before bed. Your review led me to the trailer and now I’m ready to jump in the car and drive, say, 240,000 miles to see this.

  6. July 22, 2009 10:17 am

    I’m not sure it would be quite worth the inconvenient shenanigans of re-entry, but yeah, give it a go.

  7. July 23, 2009 3:02 pm

    Saw it last night. Starts out like 2001 meets Solaris but goes elsewhere. Not quite as ‘cerebral’ as we’ve been led to believe, but very good and an extremely well-judged ending.

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