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Author Topic: Interstellar  (Read 378 times)

Offline Yora

Interstellar
« on: November 30, 2015, 01:10:47 AM »
So, I watched the movie today.

First impression: I know thing I have a much better understanding of why my dad loves to watch 2001.

Second impression: This movie makes Inception look like a popcorn movie.

When I saw Inception on DVD, I could see how that would be cool to watch in theatre, but it didn't seem like a big loss to me that I only saw it on a 28" TV. But with Interstellar I really wish that I did. I only got to see it on a measily 24" TV. But with 5.1 sorround sound! Good thing my neighbours are on vacation.

I can completely understand anyone who sees this movie and doesn't like it. Or think it's not very good, or that it is confusing. I am actually quite surprised it did as well as it did. This is seriously heavy stuff. The science part of the science fiction is indeed pretty high in acuracy to most science fiction movies, but I don't think that's what the movie is about at all. There are lots of nice little phyiscs and engineering details, but I think almost all of them will go way over the head of 99% of the audience. And they are not plot relevant.
This movie is oldschool Nolan mystic existentialism. The space visuals are to a high degree decorative and serve to establish the mood. But it's not a hard science-fiction story. It's much more metaphysical. And again, you probably need quite a good understanding of the subject to even get what's going on.

But here Nolan did something very interesting and very courageous. Lots of people have called the sound mixing on the movie absolutely terrible. And yes, many times the music is ridiculously loud and half the time you don't understand what the characters are saying. But that's on purpose.
To quote the sometimes almost just as mind-boggling TV show Babylon 5:
Quote
Kosh: "There is a question?"
Talia: "Yes. I've been scanning Mr. Abbut all day, and his mind is still just as empty as when we started. And these phrases that you keep speaking in, they don't make any sense.
Kosh: "Ahh. You seek meaning. Then listen to the music, not the song."
It's deliberate. What the people say is irrelevant. The story is almost entirely told through visuals. When it's really hard to tell what exactly they are saying, it's either technobabble where they just say what buttons they are pressing, which just sounds good but has no meaning to the audience, or they are reciting platitudes about love or hope. The words don't matter, you understand what they mean through their body language. And the music being deafening serves the purpose to create disorientation during hectic action scenes and to overwhelm the senses. It's to make the audience stop thinking and just feeling. And that's also why it's almost three hours long. It's not too long or badly edited. It serves a purpose.
And I think it works wonderfully. But I can totally see how people get annoyed by it. As a space adventure movie it really would be just terrible. Inception still works as an action movie and the Batman movies are meant to be action movies. But interstellar is really a very heavy art movie.

I really love it. I see myself rewatching Inception, Blade Runner, and Ghost in the Shell a lot more often in the future than Interstellar, but it still is really quite the experience.
If you enjoy weird existentialist art films and have a thing for space and physics.  :P
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 01:13:08 AM by Yora »
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Offline Jmack

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Re: Interstellar
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 10:40:12 PM »
Ah. Weird existentialist art films masquerading as adventures.
Can you say: "Aguirre: The Wrath of God"?
But you and I have already established our admiration for Kinski and Herzog.

I liked many things about Interstellar, not the least of which was Matt Damon as a dickhead jerk.
The thing I found least compelling was the "mystery" about who was drawing in the dust. Because it was obvious from the first moment I saw it.

In contrast, I never knew what Inception would pull off next.

But to the point of seeing the movies at home or in the theater, I just default to the theater whenever I can. Imagine waiting for Episode 7 on DVD.  :o
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline Yora

Re: Interstellar
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2015, 02:35:32 PM »
I watched it a second time now and been reading a lot of reviews and analizations of it and it really is an amazingly esoteric movie. The physics of the movie are pretty heavy stuff, but the basics are summarized in simple terms so you can have a general idea of what's happening. Except the ending, which is some of the most counter-intuitive physics outside of quantum-physics. The philosophy is just as complicated and the movie explains nothing of it!  :D

The inside of the black hole looks weird, but the things they are doing there are very simple. (They use the gravity-magic to put a message in the watch and trust that the love of Murph for her father will make her look at the watch and recognize it as a message.) But the really mind blowing moment where everything comes together and you have this instance where it is all explained and is either brilliant or complete incomprehensible bullshit is much earlier. When Brand decides she wants to dump rational thinking overboard and instead embrace a concept of reality in which emotion is equal to physics.
And from all the comments about the scene that I've come across, absolutely everyone's reaction was "What the hell is Nolan thinking here?!" Some thought it was completely stupid and others were curiously intrigued, but it seems really everyone was thinking "have they lost their mind?" I would assume for most people who hate this movie, this is the moment where it all falls apart.
I loved it, but even I was hardly able to believe that they really dared to put this into a movie like this. It's not just Brand who is completely destroying her credibility in front of a speechless audience, it's also the movie makers who could possibly do the same thing to their audience unless they have a really good explanation for it later on. It's wonderful, but really by far the most esoteric piece of philosophy I've ever seen in any movie. At least which I understood. Every Nolan movie is placed in the semi-exclusive Club of Existentialism, but this stuff is the hidden back room with a secret knock sign.
It's not the Black Hole that is the Starchild-moment of this movie. It's this short monologue.  :D

There's also so much going on with the robot. I've been spending the last days researching background information and looking up interpreations because I really want to write a long and extensive piece about the whole philosphy of the movie. There's plenty of "The Ending of Interstellar explained" all over the internet, but that's just all dealing with the physics of space and time warping. But that's just the easy stuff. The not really that important stuff.  :P
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Offline Jmack

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Re: Interstellar
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2015, 02:55:08 PM »
Quote
Every Nolan movie is placed in the semi-exclusive Club of Existentialism, but this stuff is the hidden back room with a secret knock sign.

Love this.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

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