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Showing posts from February, 2012

The Phantom Menace 3D

This afternoon, my daughter Isobel and me went to see The Phantom Menace in 3D. Strangely, it was my first experience of 'real 3D' and we both found it very tiring. The film is too, of course; while not as exhausting as the romance scenes in Attack of the Clones, Phantom Menace also has its longeurs. Part of the film's problem, I think, is that it isn't well structured, and the point-of-view is erroneously focused. It may be heresy to say this, but the film needed to be focused much more clearly on Anakin himself, and really, the film could lose that part of the film prior to the Jedi's arrival on Tatooine, and sketch in what has happened on Naboo in a very economical manner - because it doesn't really matter. Why are the Trade Federation blockading Naboo? We are never told. Why does Palpatine/ Darth Sidious want to invade Naboo in the first place? Why the pretence of legalism with the need for Amidala to sign the treaty? Who cares?

It doesn't make sense, n…

The Sun and the Moon

In trying to write an article about British science fiction cinema, it has struck me how difficult it is to pin down consistent themes or ideas. One I am juggling with is to do with the inheritance of the disaster or catastrophe mode, and its contemporary re-uses; but there is another strand, of British space fiction which uses an American star or multi-national cast to gain leverage in international marketplaces, one that can be found in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, and in Gerry Anderson’s ‘Century 21’ production house and UFO and Space:1999 in particular. (Anderson’s work is particularly interesting, and I would think that there’s a lot more work to be done on him, and his influence.) Two recent British space fictions are Danny Boyle’s Sunshine (2006) and Duncan Jones’s Moon (2009).
Sunshine was written by Alex Garland and directed by Danny Boyle, the same creative tandem that had worked on 28 Days Later (2002). The film was made in Britain, at the 3 Mills Studios in London, with a …