Stare Into Space

Who says it’s unproductive?

Posted on | July 29, 2009 | 2 Comments

If you’re thinking in a button-down, linear manner, you’d be forgiven for thinking I have not accomplished much over the last few days*.  Ostensibly, it may have looked like I’ve been lolling around, drinking beer and talking shite with my brother.  However, while it seemed thus to lazy-minded, superficial people, I was in fact carefully researching two new films.  I say ‘researching’…

Firstly, I watched Moon, Duncan Jones’ film about an astronaut working on a lunar mining base.  Sam Rockwell plays the lone-caretaker, Sam Bell.  He’s been alone for three years but is nearing the end of his contract, and looking forward to going home to his wife and child, when he’s involved in an accident and wakes up in sick-bay with no idea how he got there.  Things get weirder for him when he encounters another person on the, supposedly empty, base.  Weirder still, the other person is himself.

Moon’s a very enjoyable film.  Rockwell is excellent as both the newer, cockier, Sam and, even more so, as the ‘original’, possibly-losing-his-mind, falling apart Sam.  His deterioration, physically and mentally, is brilliantly portrayed and it’s impossible not to feel for him as his world crumbles.  A couple of, very minor, unresolved threads don’t detract and Moon is a clever, ultimately moving, film.  Well worth a trip to see.  Oh and Kevin Spacey voices the base’s computer, only able to visually express itself in emoticon form.

Secondly, Antichrist.  Ooohh, feel the controversy.  You’ve probably heard the rumours – disgusting, it’s just porn, I hate penises, etc. – and, to be fair, it does have some penis in it.  And some girly bits too.  At one point there’s a slow-motion, swinging scrotum (there’s one for the search engines) but that bit’s in black and white so it’s art and therefore ok.

Ok, I’m being a bit fatuous and, to be honest, Antichrist doesn’t deserve it.  It is an immensely powerful film.  Dafoe and Gainsbourg, as the parents of a recently-deceased child are excellent.  They retreat to their cabin in the woods so Dafoe, a therapist, can help his wife through her grief.  Once there things spiral into a dark, tangled mess of tension, dread, animal-symbolism and sexual-obsession.

It’s not perfect – the monochrome prologue, for me, felt a little cheesy but it was so beautifully filmed that I was more than happy to go with it – but there is no denying that this is a powerful film.   Antichrist is brilliantly scripted, filmed and acted and, if you’re interested (and unperturbed by what is, in parts – and in many senses – quite graphic) it’s a film you should see in the cinema.

Antichrist is arresting and intelligent and, supremely, dark.  I think it’ll stay with me for a long time.

So you see, I haven’t completely wasted the last couple of days.  Now, what time is Loose Women on?

*I did bottle a load of beer that I’ve been brewing.  Oh yes, now I’m brewing my own beer.  It can’t end well.

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Gerry Hayes

Gerry Hayes

I mostly sit around all day and drink tea. Occasionally, I write stuff and send it to strangers so they can humiliate me and deride my efforts. Other than the self-harm to dull the shame of failure, it's not a bad life. Like I say, there's tea.

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