Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Case for letting the Sunshine In

Luckily, this is not really a case that I have to spend too long on, as Morgue (23 April 07) has so elegantly covered off the pros and cons of the 2006 film Sunshine. It is a beautiful looking movie, stocked with beautiful people (a special surprise for me when I noted the wondrous Michelle Yeoh was aboard, though unfortunately she did not get to kick any butt) with a tragically awful ending to really ruin everything that had come before. The huge gaps in plot logic were as a narrow line in the sand compared to the Grand Canyon of the final tedious moments.

One thing I do find interesting about these films though is the political structure that these films of the future seem to suggest. While the ship was built by the Japanese or Chinese (New Zealanders would probably find all the English / Japanese / Chinese signage quite normal, though I wondered what an American audience would think) and had Japanese and Chinese crew in key command positions (though they were removed from them fairly quickly), the majority of the crew, no matter their skin colour, were portrayed as Americans through and through. One shot of the Sydney Opera house paid lip service to the rest of the planet (speaking of which, without fissile material, little solar power and probably no hydroelectric power on earth either, how did everyone get by?), and the less said about the “baddie” the better. But was one of the messages of the film that only white, “apple pie” American boys and girls would be intelligent, mentally stable and tenacious enough to save the planet?

This is probably reading far too much into what was obviously just meant to appeal to the crowds in a very broad, easily identifiable way. But, much like in art and in music, I can sometimes find messages hidden within the words and images that the artist didn't always intend, though spun out in an overly analytical way, it can sometimes make the work a lot more interesting than it would otherwise be at face value.

Verdict: Slip on a shirt, slap on sunscreen and slap on a hat - and avoid.


Morgan Davie said...

Interesting, I hadn't clicked to that - the gloriously multiculti cast became very whitebread by the end. I guess it shows I'm operating from privilege that I didn't even notice...

Also, check the title of your previous post - peronsal

R said...

Oops! Thanks Morgue - it will be changed!