Thursday, June 25, 2009

fly me to the 'moon'

when you venture to make a film where one actor is essentially on screen alone for the duration of the film, you’d better pick a pretty interesting actor. director duncan jones did: he picked sam rockwell. sam is just enough equal parts quirky, charming, and dark to be engaging for any length of time. which is apparently at least 97 minutes, in this case.

this is duncan jones’ first film. and it’s great. while it’s a little reminiscent of a few other sci-fi classics, like ‘outland’, ‘2001’, and ‘solaris’ — great films to be reminiscent of, by the way — it’s strong enough and unique enough to stand on its own. of course, a lot of that rides on sam rockwell’s performance. too many of the reviews on call it a ‘tour de force’, which sounds like a bicycle race to me. i agree that it’s a great performance, but there are no bikes in the movie. only a treadmill and a few moon rovers. i hope people laud my first feature acting performance as a ‘tour de farce’. that is my hope.

i didn’t know this going in, but duncan jones is david bowie’s son. awesome. so he’s no stranger to sci-fi space odysseys. actually i would’ve peed myself if david bowie floated by on a tin can. and it’s apparent that duncan studied philosophy in school; the movie is more a thinking film than a doing film. there’s painfully little action in it. which is okay, except at one point the story seems to be heading towards a bit of a showdown, but then doesn’t. it was starting to feel like the end of ‘outland’, when sean connery is preparing to fight the small crew of professionals sent to take him out. as in kill him, not date him. although who knows how it would’ve ended up. maybe sean jumped to conclusions. maybe there’s a deleted scene somewhere with a shot of a backpack full of pinot noir and truffles.

i am a patient film-watcher. as long as the film deserves my patience. this film does. and i think it deserves yours.


for more about duncan jones read this interview: boston globe interview with duncan jones

1 comment:

  1. Just discovered your music and your blog. Watched Moon not too long ago and completely agree with you. A beautiful film and brilliant take on the sci-fi genre. Of course, the role and film was written for Sam Rockwell, so that also helped in it all coming together so nicely.