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Monday, 4 May 2009
Topic: Cinema
Just in from seeing "Moon" at its west coast premier at the San Francisco International Film Festival Sunday night.
Click for the trailer
It's a good film albeit not perfect or a classic. This is really an actor's film, and it's ably carried almost entirely by Sam Rockwell's performance. I loathed him in the awful Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy film, but he's in fine form here, and manages to play much of this film wholly against himself, or his faceless robot assistant. The film is something of a throwback to the kinds of sci-fi movies of the 70s, ruminating the effects of space isolation on humans, and a little about what it means to be human at all. The pace is slow but deliberate. Maybe it's tad too slow in places, but it's never boring. That said, it's a character drama, so don't expect any big actions set pieces.

The script is good, but it's not perfect. It's got a few logical lapses and a few bits are unfortunately predictable. I won't go into detail, as they're spoiler territory, but none are serious enough to detract from the film.

The production is heavily influenced by sci-fi films of the 70s and 80s, and there's a definite Ron Cobb aesthetic to the sets (right down to some doorway shapes and aping his "semiotic standard" icons from Alien), so it all feels familiar and mostly practical.

The use of miniatures for much of the effects work gives the film a nice solid quality so lacking in CGI heavy films. Sure, not every effect looks 100% convincing, but the batting average is at least on par with most CGI. The play of real light over real objects is wonderful. The filmmakers make smart decisions regarding mixing minitures with digital set extensions, etc.

Director Duncan Jones (son of David Bowie) was on-hand for the screening and did a nice Q&A with the audience after the show. He said that the film's budget was 5 million dollars, but it certainly looks more expensive than that. I got a chance to talk to him at the end of the screening, and then ran into him again at a bar a few doors down later. Nice chap!

Posted by molyneaux at 2:04 AM PDT
Updated: Monday, 4 May 2009 7:03 PM PDT
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