Updated on October 27, 2008, 2:00 AM - Written by Tim Buttner
Stanley Kubrick made the greatest visual spectacle with his 1968 science fiction masterpiece. Its end is a part, of four, of it that symbolizes a lot in a visually groundbreaking manner. The movie began with the dawn of man, and saw through the discovery of tools and the tools dominance over man before malfunctioning. Dave goes out in his pod after the third monolith that orbits Jupiter, and is sucked into a star gate where he moves faster than the speed of light and we the audience are treated to a light show like nothing seen before in film.
As he travels through the star gate he gains glimpses of alien landscapes and other dimensions in a colorful array of light spectrum, and suffers an epileptic seizure during the trip. Kubrick his images that are similar to swimming sperm, which are among many of the images that Kubrick uses to allude to reproductive activities. When Bowman finally arrives on the alien planet he finds himself in a futuristic white room decorated with Baroque style furniture. Starting in his pod he views different stages of himself at different ages. Kubrick leaves out music and dialogue and we have only the sounds of Bowman's breathing in his helmet and the dead silence of this space.
Bowman is next out of the pod in his second stage, and finds that he has aged through the course of his voyage because he know has gray hair and wrinkles. He examines the bathroom and hears clicking which lead us to his third stage at a table eating bread and drinking wine, which is symbolic of a last supper with sacramental elements. He breaks his glass of wine, which echoes through the empty room as does the grating noise of the chair and soon notices a fourth stage of himself in bed. He's now incredibly old and near death. Here the fourth monolith appears in front of him at the foot of the bed, and he reaches towards it like the ape man in the beginning and Dr. Floyd. He is then reborn as the star child.
Updated on October 27, 2008, 12:30 AM - Written by Tim Buttner
When any one person mentions a single shot that displays superb camera operating technique from the movie Touch of Evil (1958) from writer, director, and star Orson Welles, they often are referring to the opening shot of the movie. A great long tracking shot that measures out at three minutes and nineteen seconds, it is a champion in raising the cinematic quality of the movie at the same time as serving to build tension in the story. That's not the most impressive single shot of the movie although. It is greatly impressive, but it often overshadows a shot that measures out to eleven minutes and forty-eight seconds and could be just as powerful a shot as the first.
Orson Welles was a brilliant filmmaker whose best known work, Citizen Kane (1941), was photographed by Gregg Toland and has been hailed as the greatest cinematic masterpiece of the 20th Century. Russell Metty was the director of photography on Touch of Evil and followed a different approach with Welles to tell a different kind of movie that didn't involve as much symbolism or cinematic tricks like Citizen Kane. Touch of Evil is considered to be the last film noir of the classic noir period that took place between 1941 and 1958, and its cinematography was especially influential on the neo-noir that would follow. Welles was hounded by studio executives and planned for his first day of shooting a single shot in a studio built apartment set of the shoe clerk living with the murdered man's daughter. He executed the shot and called out that they were two days ahead of schedule because of it's completion. The shot runs 11 minutes and 48 seconds uninterrupted, but during the movie it is interrupted a total of two times making it a 5 minutes 25 seconds, 53 seconds, and 5 minutes 30 seconds when split apart.
What does the shot accomplish for the story, and why does it go so often unnoticed? The shot integrates instantly with the first shot of the movie and narro...
Updated on October 19, 2008, 11:58 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
It's tough for a society suffering an economic clinch and a resources squeeze to imagine exploring new worlds. The price of the fuel needed to launch a rocket has gone up while people cry out for alternative energy sources, which doesn't make them gun-hoe about wasting thousands of gallons of the depleted on sending several people into the reaches of space to study and discover. The only way in which people will support such a decision would be if it were to discover an alternative energy source.
The pioneering spirit is dead while the preservation spirit has grown into a mature adult. One day that pioneering spirit will be reborn, but it won't be for another century or two because humans have to manage some pressing issues that are preventing its rebirth. When people are feeling the itch to get out and discover new lives that await them in the new frontier of space then, and only then, will the pioneering spirit be reborn.
When the pioneer sets out to space it will be like conquering the Wild West. The puritan travelers will venture to a new land and fight against the native peoples for the land and resources. That's the good old pioneering way, and humans wont forget it in their conquest of space. Until that time though, people will have to be satisfied with learning more about the planet they live on and the organisms that share the world with them.
One of the reasons people might have less interest in space and exploring it today, other than the resources, is that they are more interested in learning about life on planet Earth. The oceans happen to be more of a mystery than at present, and are cheaper and closer to explore than space. Once the secrets of the deep are overturned people will turn to the rainforest, and then from there to the caves. The pioneering spirit isn't dead then, but just has a different facilitation. People aren't as interested in space as they are in the planet they occupy, which they are working ...
Updated on October 13, 2008, 11:15 AM - Written by Tim Buttner
Any military commander will tell you that the best way to defeat an enemy is to know the weaknesses of your enemy. Knowledge comes out of security thus, and a lot of times security cannot work without it. Security is also important in keeping the public calm while the professionals do what they need to in order to alter the course of their enemy. Necessarily a lot of secret keeping from the public leads to better secrecy from an enemy, which in turn leads to better surprise.
In the movie Men in Black (1997) the character played by Tommy Lee Jones, Kay, tells Will Smith's character, Jay, that "There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they Do… Not… Know about it!" This is after Jay has fired off a weapon not of this world in public and is complaining about Kay not working harder to prevent other aliens from destroying the planet to defeat the alien bug that the Men in Black are trying to apprehend. Do they work for our security, yes… but that doesn't mean that they don't gain a lot of knowledge. In fact they used alien inventions to fund their organization by patenting Velcro and other such alien technologies not on this earth, including something that will soon replace CDs, but it isn't the iTunes Music Store because humans actually bet them to that. Or did they?
When defense is put up against an enemy there is only so much you can do before your defense will be broken without studying your enemy. If there is no investigation into them, then you might as well surrender and admit defeat. Out of examining your enemy, and their tactics, you gain knowledge of your own and of theirs, plus you might come up with an offensive maneuver capable of defeating them.
In the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath o...
Updated on October 5, 2008, 4:13 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
Today's world is one where humans can't even tell if one person is benevolent or not. Terrorism is at every corner and paranoia is far-reaching. Pandemonium is not too distant as resources become thin and the United States looks forward to a second depression. Would aliens visiting today see the world today as a place easy to conquer or as a planet in need of saviors?
In the last decade we have seen several science fiction movies or television mini-series that have had variable views as to how aliens would be coming to this world. In Men in Black (1997) they are refugees very similar to Casablanca (1942) as Tommy Lee Jones' character Kay puts it. In War of the Worlds (2005) they are bent on destroying the human race, very much like they were in the 1953 version. In the mini-series Taken (2002) from the Sci-Fi channel they are but simple researchers searching for answers to life's greatest mysteries. Where is the alien visitor going to go in the next decade?
I currently am writing a science fiction movie where the aliens are hiding among the human race because their world is in chaos and about to be destroyed, but yet they want nothing to do with the human populace because they view them as more capable of destroying themselves than ever expanding into the far reaches of outer space. If aliens were to visit this planet at this juncture in time, then they too would want nothing to do with the occupants of Earth because how can they trust to have peace with humans when humans can't even have peace with themselves? It's far too dangerous to risk such a thing because war would be inevitable. They would have something we want, or we would have something they want, with no possibility for us to share it viewable.
The future of alien contact movies lie in the concept of space exploration, and very much in the same style as when explorers discovered "The New World" the existing people are doomed ...