Page 85

volume 2.4 winter 2010

“The power of the moon. The power of our future. - Moon

Cosmos 85

Like A Trip to the Moon, 2009’s Moon is influenced by contemporary science. It also begins in a realistic context, with an advertisement-like montage of images to communicate the environment and setting. The film cuts to a space station—Mining Base Sarang—and we are on the moon. The protagonist Sam, played by Sam Rockwell, is nearing the end of his three-year contract on the mining station and looking forward to getting back to Earth and his family. It’s clear that he has done his best to stay sane while being completely alone on the moon with only a robot named Gerty for company. In a routine drive on the moon’s landscape, Sam crashes his vehicle only to wake up at some point later, back on the base. Gerty informs him that he had an accident, and Sam (and the audience) struggles to figure out exactly what happened and why. But perhaps more engaging than this mystery is the relationship between Gerty and Sam, an external counterpart to the internal struggle Sam experiences as he faces the infinity of space while being completely isolated on the moon. Unlike A Trip to the Moon, Moon stands upon the shoulders of science-fiction movies, as well as the real history of human space travel, that have come before it. It presents familiar images that remind the viewer of everything from Kubrick’s 2001 to Life magazine’s publication of photos of the first landing on the moon. The viewer responds to these touchstone visual markers with her own emotional associations and remembrances. While some may find these connections distracting, I found myself more engrossed because of them. These were familiar visions of the moon and space, visions that in some ways I had visited before. Moon presents an isolated and confined place. Unlike Méliès’ moon, there is nothing fantastic about it. It is a barren wasteland. After nearly 100 years, visualizations of the moon’s landscape have changed quite dramatically. But the wonder that the moon—and space in general—represents remains the same. It is a mysterious, exciting, sometimes threatening place full of unknown challenges. It is our bridge to the infinity of space, a complete departure from life on Earth, a thing for contemplation. w

Profile for M. Hurst

GLIMPSE | vol 2.4, winter 2009-10 | Cosmos  

The "Cosmos" issue investigates the history and technologies of seeing beyond Earth's atmosphere. From Mayan and pre-Christian civilizations...

GLIMPSE | vol 2.4, winter 2009-10 | Cosmos  

The "Cosmos" issue investigates the history and technologies of seeing beyond Earth's atmosphere. From Mayan and pre-Christian civilizations...

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