Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Rockwell the Inspiration for Duncan Jones' 'Moon'
WHOA! This movie is a mind-blow.
Let me start by saying that I am quite unfamiliar with the genre of science fiction. When I read about this movie I didn't think, 'Oh what a cool sci-fi this movie will be.' SO it was a surprise to me when during the Q&A at the West Coast premiere of the movie at the SFIFF Sunday night so many questions and answers had to do with the sci-fi genre (themes borrowed from other movies, etc).
When I first started watching I immediately thought of Herzog's 'Grizzly Man' because of the perspective issue. We see astronaut Sam Bell ( Sam Rockwell) talking to a camera (The U.S.) back home. SO I thought of the idea of only being with yourself and the camera, the relationship formed there, and the perspective of the camera. Timothy Treadwell was alone in the wilderness with his camera, Sam is alone on the moon with a camera...
Well not completely alone. Kevin Spacey plays a robot friend.
Sam Rockwell gives quite a performance. It turns out the movie was inspired by him. Jones wanted to work with Rockwell, and Rockwell had ideas about wanting to play a working class hero type...
The moon setting is especially notable! I found myself wondering about why and how they decided to make it look the way it did and how the set worked. I learned during the Q&A it was built as a miniature model, and that's probably why it looked so beautiful. Often we see Sam driving the rover over the surface of the moon and it appears in slow motion, moon dust filling the dark air, which is only lit by the out-of-place man made machinery in outer space...
Whoa! Googling Duncan Jones just now I found out from Wikipedia that he is the son of David Bowie. Full circle. Last week at the SFIFF I watched Crude, in which David Bowie's wife and supermodel Iman Abdulmajid plays a key role in creating press buzz around a huge Chevron oil spill in Ecuador.
I'm not going give away anything about this movie, but I will say that it's soul-wrenchingly sad. About 3/4 way through I wanted to give up. At one point Sam says, "I just want to go home." And then earth comes into view.
But instead of giving up I became intrigued by the plot, and started questioning my own sadness- curious about why I felt so sad by this subject.
Sadness turned to curiosity.
Jones made the movie on a 5 million budget. and with only 30 days to shoot. 450 special effects shots. Damn!!!
Go see it. Be boggled.
Opens wide release June 12.