Posts Tagged ‘Moon’

Berlin 2010 Preview: Competition, Part 1

February 3, 2010

The Berlin Film Festival is often overshadowed by Cannes Film Festival as it’s very difficult to dock a yacht in Berlin. It’s endured for 60 years, though, as an early warning system for the best of the year’s international art house fare. The Competition strand features those films vying for the Golden Bear, which in past years has gone to Jose Padilha’s The Elite Squad and Claudia Llosa’s The Milk of Sorrow. The field’s first half features Japanese war stories, the making of one of the worst films ever made, criminals old and young and the returns of Polanski, Baumbach and Popogrebsky.

Bal (Honey)

Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu’s fifth film is a father/son story set in the remote mountains. Young Yusuf is ostracized at school for his stammer, but worships his beekeeper dad, who tends to a network of precarious treetop hives. When his father is called away on business, Yusuf follows him into the forest.

Kyatapira (Caterpillar)

Lieutenant Kurokawa returns from the front of the second Sino-Japanese War. He’s had his arms and legs blown off. Shigeko is expected to dutifully attend to her immobile war hero husband. Director Koji Wakamatsu’s previous film, the acclaimed United Red Army, still awaits release in the U.S. Based on the story by Edogawa Rampo, which was censored by the Japanese authorities in 1939.

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Moon: You Caught Me Standing Alone

January 22, 2010

Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) works on the dark side of the moon. He’s approaching the end of a three-year stint monitoring the mining of helium-3, a mineral whose solarized properties have provided a solution to our energy crisis. Bell has the beard of a Robinson Crusoe and a Friday companion in the form of a computer named Gerty. Gerty is voiced by Kevin Spacey, doing his best paranoid android. In one of the film’s many smart touches, the computer’s face is a stiffly animated emoticon. In spite of the company, Bell is going a little stir crazy. He creates dialogues for his plants and works on building a matchstick model of his hometown that he can’t remember starting.

The first part of director Duncan Jones’s debut feature has an eerie quality. The strange nature of satellite time is created using temporal ellipses, strangely placed fades and sound bridges. These early scenes sometimes end too early or go on too long, which makes sense. Bell is a one-man show where there’s no audience and no one to play off. He watches video messages left for him by his wife Tess (the very attractive Dominique McElligott), but we’re not sure if he’s watching them in chronological order. He can’t communicate earth directly due to faulty mechanics.

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Trailerama: Moon

April 10, 2009

Sam Rockwell is one of those buried treasures. He does consistently good work in movies that are underseen (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and which sometimes don’t even deserve to be seen (Choke). Even when he’s not the main attraction, as in The Assassination of Jesse James …, he’s able to sketch a character or help hoist a scene into life in ways that lesser actors aren’t capable of. Decades from now, people will look back at his films and go, “Why wasn’t this guy huge?”

One of the answers may lie in the upcoming Moon, which is an insane project for anyone to take on. His astronaut has spent three years operating a moon quarry on his own. Plenty of opportunities, then, to go stir crazy. His principal interactions are with GERTY, a computer voiced by Kevin Spacey. He also speaks to his family via a video-phone. Then, just as his tenure is about to come to a close, Rockwell’s spaceman makes a discovery that suggests he’s not alone. Or is he?

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Tribeca Trailers: From Moon to Rudo y Cursi

March 19, 2009

In the latest batch of trailers from the Tribeca Film Festival, Sam Rockwell asks “Can you hear me Major Tom,” South Korea makes light of debt collecting, the Danes make light of steroids, an off-site goes off-kilter, there’s a Turkish spin on A Christmas Tale, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh produce a documentary on the child sex trade, and Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna still look pretty good together.

Moon (Duncan Jones, 2009)

Sam Rockwell goes stir crazy … on the moon.


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