Genre: Science Fiction
Released: July 2009
Directed By: Duncan Jones
Written By: Nathan Parker, Duncan Jones
Music By: Clint Manswell
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey
What Is It: A 2001 Space Midlife Crisis
Plot: Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) has been on the dark side of the Moon for nearly 3 years, overseeing a harvest of an energy source with just a robot (Kevin Spacey) for company. Within his final fortnight of work, Sam’s reality begins to fall apart revealing a strange and terrifying truth which cannot be forgotten.
Review: Sam Rockwell delivers an almost solo performance terrifically in a film that is more than simple science fiction. The wide use of models not only gives a sense of realism to the film, but also a tribute to the 70s and 80s of space cinema, from Space Odyssey to The Clangers, in almost a swan song of a forgotten genre, of a forgotten idea, that films are art, and about more than beautiful people, latest trends and shallow values. There are psychological levels that are hard to define any further than simple making contact, somewhere, deep in the subconscious, as well as some subtle political undertones. You can really relate to how unimportant the individual is to the major company, without the film ever directly implying for the most part of the film. Parker uses multiple elements that are not human to make these points, such as space itself to illustrate Sam’s isolation from home and perhaps the isolation a lot of people feel from the world around them.
Conclusion: One for the film boffs, but not for the science fiction boffs, there are no lasers and no Wookies. Clearly a defining piece of cinema from the 21st century, which will influence countless films to come. If you haven’t caught any of Duncan Jones’ material, this would be a good place to start.
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