Interstellar Redux

28 Dec

In our last post, we talked about the film Interstellar, but we ended up critiquing our own critique. Sure, we said some glib things, but we really didn’t get to the heart of the thing.  One of the ways we judge a movie is whether it ‘lives’ in our minds.  If we forget a movie right after the end credits roll, we know that the movie was not very good.  If we find ourselves thinking about a movie days after seeing it, we know that the film has engaged us, even if we didn’t find it completely satisfying.

Interstellar is that kind of movie for us – we knew there we’re problems with the picture, but we nevertheless found ourselves thinking about it.  We’d seen the film with our daughter (https://dejungle.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/the-hobbit/) and several days ago she noted “You know, I’m still not sure how I feel about the movie,” mirroring our own thoughts.  At the time we’d written it off as a picture with lofty ambitions, but one that director Christopher Nolan had allowed to get away from him.  It now occurs to us that perhaps that is what inevitably happens when directors take on such sweeping subjects.

2001 is one of our all-time favorite movies – dissin’ 2001 to us is fightin’ words.  Nevertheless, we can see why many find it perplexing and even annoying – the “light show” can seem disconnected from what has gone before and some viewers may feel that the astronaut’s transformation at the end comes out of left field.  For many, 2001 ultimately fails to deliver the goods.

Though some movie goers may find the Interstellar’s third act uplifting,  others may feel as perplexed as some of 2001’s viewers did. Though we didn’t feel perplexed, we think that films that try to show us the infinite come up against the limits of the human mind, not to mention the limits of special effects technology, as impressive as the latter has become over the last decade.  In other words, we think it’s really hard to blow people’s minds in film, ’cause to really blow their minds you’d have to show ’em something beyond your ability to show on screen and beyond your capacity to imagine it.

Then again, maybe all ya need is a good car chase scene …

Maybe a car chase is all ya need ...

Maybe a car chase is all ya need …

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