“[T]here are no small matters. Just as there is no small life. The life of an insect, a spider, his life is as large as yours, and yours is as large as mine. Life is life. You wish to live as much as I do; you have spent seven months of hell, waiting day after day for what you needed . . . the way a spider waits. Think about the spider, Joe Fernwright. He makes his web. Then he makes a little silk cave at the end of the web to sit in. He holds strands that lead to every part of the web, so that he will know when something to eat, something he must have to live, arrives. He waits. A day goes by. Two days. A week. He waits on; there is nothing he can do but wait. The little fisherman of the night . . . and perhaps something comes, and he lives, or nothing comes, and he waits and he thinks, ‘It won’t come in time. It is too late.’ And he is right, he dies still waiting.”
Posts Tagged ‘Philip K. Dick’
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged alien, Dan O'Bannon, Dark Star, Feature Friday, John Carpenter, Lifeforce, Music Box Theatre, Philip K. Dick, Stanley Kubrick, Total Recall on August 31, 2012 | 3 Comments »
I caught up with Dark Star only a few years back, at one of the Music Box‘s science-fiction marathons. I was pleased to discover that Dark Star ranks among John Carpenter’s best, while at the same time standing out due to its odd, grim humor. (Kubrick’s influence hangs over the picture, which pokes lovingly not only at 2001—just look at the opening scene—but Dr. Strangelove.) Much of the comedy is also due to the presence of writer/star/production designer/editor Dan O’Bannon, the brilliant screenwriter behind Alien and Total Recall and Lifeforce. Appropriately, Dark Star contains lots of swipes from Philip K. Dick, as well as some ideas that would later infiltrate Alien: the cramped and tedious corporate working condition, an ornery alien creature running amok…
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged 2001: A Space Odyssey, 7-Eleven, A D & Jeremy Talk about Movies, A D Jameson, A Mind Forever Voyaging, A Simple Twist of Fate, Alexander Kluge, alien, apichatpong weerasethakul, Applebee’s, Back to the Future, Bangkok, Blissfully Yours, Chicago Metra, Daily Variety, David Bowie, Der große Verhau, Duncan Jones, DVDSavant, Fantastic Four, G.I. Joe, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Howard Hawks, Inception, Invaders from Mars, Jean Luc Godard, Jeffrey Wright, Jeremy M. Davies, Justin, Kick the Machine, kluge, La jetée, Michael Crichton, mindfuck films, Monica Bellucci, Moon, Mysterious Object at Noon, Pauline Kael, Philip K. Dick, Planet of the Vampires, Quantum Leap, Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s, Sakda Kaewbuadee, salapao, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson, science-fiction, Scott Bakula, Sliding Doors, Source Code, Stan Lee, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Wars, Syndromes and a Century, Tears of the Black Tiger, technobabble, Thai, Thailand, The Big Mess, Thor, time travel, Tropical Malady, Unbreakable, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Vera Farmiga, Wesley Willis, Wisit Sasanatieng on May 23, 2011 | 18 Comments »
[You click this link, you go back to the first installment, which found me and Jeremy unable to get service at an Applebee’s, following a screening of Duncan Jones’s Source Code. Increasingly hungry, increasingly desperate, we debated the nutritional value of our napkins and tablecloths, before Jeremy remembered that Applebee’s coats all such textiles in an indigestible plastic (to prevent sullen teenagers from rending or defiling them). Our gazes fell upon the Awesome Blossoms sizzling on our various neighbors’ tables.]
A D: Let’s keep talking about movies; it’ll distract us.
Jeremy: Capital! I liked Source Code better than Thor, I’d say (though not so much as Ang Lee or Bill Bixby’s Hulks). Because Source Code is a nice little movie. Though not as nice or little as Moon, Duncan Jones’s debut.
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Andrew O'Hehir, Ariadne, Bob le flambeur, Bryan Singer, Christopher Higgs, Christopher Nolan, Chuang Tzu, Cornelia Parker, Days of Heaven, Edith Piaf, George P. Cosmatos, Harold Pinter, Inception, Jean Baudrillard, Jim Emerson, Kiss Me Deadly, Lily Hoang, Paul T. Anderson, Philip K. Dick, Quentin Tarrantino, Rififi, Roman Polanski, Ron Silliman, Seinfeld, Simulacra and Simulation, The Asphalt Jungle, The Betrayal, The Dark Knight, The Gateless Gate, The Ghost, The Matrix, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Zabriskie Point on August 8, 2010 | 191 Comments »
Update: Related posts that may interest you:
- “Art as Device, and Device (When it Works) as Miracle“
- “Scott Pilgrim vs. Inception for the Future of the Cinematic Imagination“
- “More on Inception: Shot Economy and 1 + 1 = 1“
- “My Favorite New Movies of 2010“
- “A D Jameson talks about movies #1: The opening scenes of Inception” (YouTube)
- “The Ever Risable Dark Knight” (HTMLGIANT)
- “We Need to Talk About Batman” (HTMLGIANT)
- “Reading Frank Miller’s influences on Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy” (HTMLGIANT)
- “Reading Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” parts 1, 2, 3, 4 5, 6, 7, 8
Christopher Nolan, while presumably a rather likable fellow (he does give work to Michael Caine), is a depressingly artless filmmaker. To be sure, some of the concepts in this new one are clever enough (even if they play like weak snatches from Philip K. Dick): the military developed shared dreaming, which then became a tool for corporate espionage—sure thing. The great Dom Cobb and his team now must infiltrate a businessperson’s mind in order to plant the seed of an idea, rather than steal one—a nice enough twist, and a fine enough premise for a caper.
But Nolan then fails to dramatize his concepts. His primary—indeed, practically his only—tool for delivering information to the audience is character dialogue. Rarely does anyone shut his or her mouth during the 148 minutes that are Inception. Its actors are talking threadbare ciphers, eager mouthpieces for their director.
Examples abound. After failing in their mission to deceive Saito, Cobb remarks to his teammate Arthur: “We were supposed to deliver Saito’s expansion plans to Cobol Engineering two hours ago. By now they know we failed.” (A potential response: “Hey, dude, I’m, like, your partner. I know the score!”) An even better one: the line where Cobb points out to Michael Caine’s character—a university professor teaching in Paris—”You know extradition between France and the US is a legal nightmare.” Yes, Mssr. Professor Caine probably does, in fact, know that! But I’m sure that somebody way in the back row was happy to hear.