Thursday, August 29, 2013


I know I haven't been posting a lot, and I rarely think of anything to say these days, but I just went and saw the movie Elysium a few days ago.

I think it was brilliant that they decided to make it a kind of dark mirror image of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Watch the beginnings of both movies: the opening shots of the space station and rockets leaving it look exactly alike in both movies, in a way that only a very serious sci-fi fan would catch. This means that an educated few in the theatre immediately have their breath taken away, practically before anything happens. Such viewers are forcibly induced to time-travel back to when Star Trek versions of the future were imagined, rather than Blade Runner or Children of Men (of which the latter comes to mind when viewing Elysium). As Naomi Klein says, the future we're now heading to isn't all clean and shiny; it's rusty.

In the future, Spanish is more common than English. For most people, the future sucks. The hero, once a proud hooligan, has been forced by financial circumstances to work in a factory building security robots, the instruments of his and everyone else's oppression. Very Marxist. And the Stalin, in this case, is a smartly-dressed and probably very nice-smelling yuppie executive type with high heels, a soft beehive hairdo and a philosophy of bigotry many Americans (sp?) could admire: the product, herself, of the society up in the giant space-wheel, where not a spot of rust of any kind is to be found.

Yes, Hollywood did get their grubby little hands on it in some ways. But it's a terrific story with very subtle imagery, and anyone who likes the stuff I've said in other posts will absolutely love it.