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Green Light in the City

Moon

1 August 09 words: Nathan Fidler
Don’t you just hate it when your three year moon mining shift is coming to an end and you crash after being distracted by a girl?
Moon - a film by Duncan Jones starring Sam Rockwell
Moon - a film by Duncan Jones starring Sam Rockwell

Moon shines! With that terrible pun out of the way we can get to the nitty gritty. The facts: Duncan Jones, the director, is David Bowie’s son (originally named Zowie Bowie, poor lad), the film was made on a shoestring budget (for our day and age anyway) of a couple of million dollars and Kevin Spacey didn’t sign up until he’d seen the film and was sure it was good.

Don’t you just hate it when your three year shift, alone, mining moon rocks for earth’s energy source is coming to an end and you crash into one of your tractors after being distracted by a girl? Well, that’s what happens to Sam Bell (played by Sam Rockwell, and at times Robin Chalk). He is knocked unconscious and later rescued by...himself. The twists finally start here as both Sams tries to figure one another out. They find that their live link to earth is disrupted and that they have been betrayed by the Lunar Corporation who they work for. A rescue team is sent to fix the broken moon rover and the Sams must figure out how to avoid being seen as a duo.

It reminisces with the science-fiction of old like Solaris, THX and 2001: A Space Odyssey but bucks the trends of devious robots (GERTY is loving and softly voiced by Kevin Spacey) and “hallucinations”. Moon has a heart, a soul, a funny bone and cool grey jumpsuits! You don’t find yourself beaten over the head with issues, instead you watch, and find that you side with both of the Sams and their plight. This is mainly due to the fantastic and versatile acting of Sam Rockwell, he goes through the motions as both a healthy Sam and a dying Sam. He plays the same man but in two very different ways. Just pray that he isn’t snapped up by the blockbusters.

If you want to be profound and optimistic about it you could say that Moon appears to be a turning point. A U-turn away from the “zoom”, “blam” and “kapow” of most sci-fi offerings that we have come to accept as the only kind there is. There is still the basic anatomy of science fiction in the space station and the lunar buggies but enough to take away from the story. Duncan Jones offers hope for the future of the genre with this simple yet thrilling tale, and I personally look forward to his next project. Just don’t blow it, and somebody get me a jumpsuit!

Moon played at Broadway Cinema from Friday 17 June to Thursday 30 June 2009.
 

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