Talking Images
Talking Images

Episode 30 · 1 year ago

Space Exploration, part 2: When Space Became Reality


In this episode, we will look at what happened when the fantastical dream that was space exploration became reality - and the future became the past.

Opening with a full-on discussion of what could be called "the first modern space exploration film", Ikarie XB 1 - we will continue to explore how the subgenre developed after Jurij Gagarin became the first human to leave our planet.

While it still feels a little odd to say it, space exploration is no longer exclusively science fiction. We will actually look at documentaries and biopic, such as For All Mankind, First Man and Space Walk - looking at events sometimes more than 50 years in the past.

We will also look at the biggest films taking up the mantle of 2001 and Solyaris - to various levels of success - with Interstellar and High Life - not to mention horror and/or found footage films like Alien and Europa Report - and much, much more.

And throughout all of this we will look back at the question from our previous episode, namely what films are actually using the space exploration subgenre to do.

Is it about creating a true sense of exploration - which we saw in the early films of fantasy. Is it about exploring concepts, such as 2001? Or is it about exploring the human psyche, as in Solyaris.

We have found examples of each - not to mention overlaps.

So strap yourself in as we take on all modern space exploration.

Do let us know what you think we missed. We know, we know, there's several.

And do visit us on ICM to let us know what your favourite space exploration films are - and why! 

We can't wait to hear from you.


Ikarie XB1 and Europa Report will have spoiler warnings. Simply jump to the next film using the time codes below when this happens:

Ikarie XB 1: 2:21

For All Mankind: 18:15

First Man: 23:07

Space Walk: 28:36

Alien: 33:05

2010: 38:59

Interstellar: 41:48

On Silver Globe: 47:30

Europa Report: 53:07

Prometheus: 1:07:39

Gravity: 1:11:29

Sunshine: 1:15:39

The Martian: 1.17.32

High Life: 1.22.30 

You are listening to talking images, the official podcast of ICM Forumcom. Welcome back everyone. I'm Chris and this is part two a horror space exploration episode. In part one, recover the early days of science fiction, when discovering space was only a fantastical dream, and then we got enveloped by the SCI Fi, the bite of the century, two thousand and one versus Hoi Aris, to my dismay, two thousand and one, well one, but just by a hair. In this episode we will think our teeth into the world of space exploration. After you, gagering, entered space and fantasy became reality. We will start the episode, as promised last time, by jumping back in time just before two thousand and one, to the year one thousand nine hundred and sixty three, with ichory xp one, which, if we want to be boisterous, could call the first modern space exploration film, or at the very least a very exciting intermediary. We will then move into reality and biography with for all mankind, spacewalk and first man, as well as some of the biggest films to try to take up the Manto from two thousand and one and Soliris with various levels of success with interstellar and high life, not to mention the farm footage field, Europa report and, of course, your avity, which, unfortunately, Saul is not here to the ride and attack. Yes, unfortunately we have lost Saul, but at least he got to defend and fight for his beloved so the RS. So, just as last time, you have a lot to go through here and luckily I am still joined by three absolutely wonderful cohosts, clam, Mattia and Tom. So let's just introduce yourself again, guys, and let's get this started. When are you again? SCOLM from friends. Happy to be back and I'm really happy that two thousand and one one against so Yari's last time. Hi, it's Matt. You still from fans, and I guess I feel bad about someone winning because I was the deciding vote and I go so the honest as well, but hopefully you guys can forgive me. Never Hi, this is Tom from England, looking forward to discussing for more space exploration films today and really excited to get st okay, so I think it would pointings that's really exciting by jumping into the world of Equery XP. One is because, like I said, if you really want to be bombastic and call this the first modern space inforation film, you have a lot of things to back this up. I mean, yes, it's still shot in black and white. It maybe one of the very last large sci fi adventures to be shot in black and white. But you have some incredible elements there, from the massive scope of the shape to the surprisingly well done, though stripped back effects, and not to mention the wide screen cinematography, as we follow a team of forty people from various disciplines living in what is essentially described as a mini village. I mean, this ship is incredible. All on the path to a new solar system similar to that of our own earth. We are more than two hundred years in the future. The twenty century is only a dark memory, and the film opens with a member of the crew on the path to insanity. We then cut back to the way it all began. I think we're all relatively farm of equery here, so let's just pass the question around. What is it that you think equery does so well? So qry xp one is an impressive slash of s check staffack in Sci Fi and, as you said, Chrissy, charge the adventures of a twenty two century ship sent for more ear to explore a mysterious white planet and along the way the encounter many dangers, such as radioactive planet twenty twenty century ship filled with nuclear weapons, and also the risk of the journey taking its tall on the mental stability of the astronauts. As you mentioned, the set design is wonderful. The ship's large enough to contain a gym, living quarters and spacious control room, as well as in number of claustrophobic corridors. Now it's also loosely adapted from a standards... lemon novel, the Magellanic Cloud. So the shades of Shal Iris coming in there, in there in the rioting, and it's really very ambitious work for the time that it was made, and it sets down a lot of the ground rules for the space expiration films that follow. It may be a little twee and dated in places now when viewed from a modern perspective, but at the time I can imagine that this was cutting edge and as such it's a very thrilling piece of work. Yeah, I have to agree on the set design. I think that's definitely the most impressive aspect of the film in that it all kind of foreshadows some of the things we see in two thousand and one. In some ways it seems like a very modern, or at least the head of its time design for the spaceship and, as you said, I think the cinmatography really makes the best out of that. And the other thing is how fully formed a lot of the SCI fi jobes we are very familiar with are on display in this film. Be It's the way it's most into a fellow with abundance spaceship that they have to explore all of those scenes. They feel familiar, which and I think that done well. I don't mean that as a criticism. I think it's a sign of either it's being quite influential or maybe these ideas being kind of in the air at a time. Yeah, I agree with what Tom and Matthew just said about the film. I really liked it as well. What really struck me as interesting, and I don't think it's something that has been done since, is the number of people on the ship. As you said, Chris, they are about fully people on this spaceship and I don't think I've ever seen a sci fi movie with that many people in one space ship later on. So I thought it was interesting to see that it's prettymature new civilization going out in in space to explore, while usually in sci fi movies we only have five or six people maximum. I think that's an aspect of the film that has positives and negatives. It sounds like I'm not as big a fan of the thing as you guys are. Like it, but I don't love it, and I think the fact that you have so many people on the ship also means that they don't get much characterization and I think in the end that is a bit of an issue in terms of the emotional mistakes of the fame. You don't get to know the characters or that were another things I'd like to know on what you said. Can is that you also have this very specialized school, but you have a psychologist, you have a biologist or something, I don't remember active, but you have a bunch of scientists with specific wars and engineers, and that's also something we see a lot in other Sifi films and it just makes sense kind of as a scientific explanation. Yeah, of course, I didn't mean that they work random citizens just through in the spaceship just at random. The obviously they all have reasons to be here. But yeah, once again I it's quite unusual to see forty people at once in the same spaceship, even though all of them have deserved to be here because of their qualifications. I would also agree with you about the number of people being well, not helpful to feel really sympathy for any of them. But I don't think that's really the point of the film. At least that's not something I really cared about that much. In that movie at least, I was more about what the space exploration, the exploration of the spaceship they found, and not so much the story of the characters, which comes as secondary to mean this type of films. I do agree with you, Matt. Youre at that the character gallery is a little bit too extensive, that there are abvis is some characters that do get that additional teracterization. So the captain and the mathematician ironically named and the Hopkins long before. There wasn't now the Hopkins to copy. But it are some minor problems there for me, because it is a very human film. A lot of the drama is human centric, such as the film of course, opening up with Mikhael on the brink of insanity, and one of my issues that the film was that I really didn't feel that they got to know Michael that well as the film developed. There are some all the characters to get to know better. So I think it would have been even more emotionally resonant and far more strong if, for instance, the word and the additional ten twenty minutes we we've got the Normichael, we've got to know some of these other characters a little bit better and what to feel like, who they were as people, because that was one of the few things every what's a bit lacking here. I would also agree with that viewpoint. The filmmakers cram a lot of action, lots of things happening in quite a short run time and we're such a million of characters you don't really become fully invested in them, so that when there are elements of peril and when people are at danger, the sense of risk isn't as great as...

...that whichhould come to expect from modern space expliration films, where there's just a few characters, small crew on a ship and you get fully invested in them. But, having said that, I can overlook this with a cay xp one, because the direction of the film and where the storyline takes us is enthralling enough. And, as kind pointed out, it isn't really about the individual characters on the ship. It's about a mission or request for humanity as a whole, and I think that's such a beautiful point too, because one of the things that you notice really quickly that the names of the characters are from essentially every single nationality and country in the world. You have obviously anglophon names, you have German names, you have eastern block names, you even have skin in Davian names in there, and it's quite clear that in this future, in the twenty two century, humanity has left all of the issues of the twenty century behind, and this is probably one of the more interesting but smaller elements of the film, just this horror the twenty century represents to them, which is quite interesting as all because opeviously it was made in the midst of the Cold War and in a time of humanity where people were relative pessimistic, but it is real interesting that the film from the Mid Twenty Century Look back at the twenty century with such horror and disdain, which I suppose also it's optimistic in a way that humanity will get out of the mess that we're currently in, or at least we're in at that time. Yeah, so very star trek kind of thing, because in stuff like you also have that international crew and they also constantly talked about the twenty century as being this barbaric times, and I thought a bit of plaint of the apes also, which rich makes that point, and it's it's think, using interesting tension within this fin because in some ways it's very optimistic depicting this kind of idealic society where you have it seems very gaita young, right and and International. But there's one point where it seems very pessimistic about human nature, about the fact that humans will basically betrayed themselves in the face of danger. And then the ending kind of goes the other way. And speaking of the ending, I know if you you guys read that's but apparently there was this film was released in the US with a different ending where I guess, I guess. I don't know if we want to spoil it, but it's interesting, it's different. I think, without spoiling it, we will get into spoiler territory student. But it's funny that they switch the story in the American version. These people are no longer humans going into space to try to discover life. They're aliens trying to discover earth. Yeah, which is just weird. I mean, I don't know how that makes sense with this film. I don't know. I mean this it's all those really weird things too, because I notice I saw a plant of the storms from the year before, which was a Russians basic ration film, if not very good at all. It's intentially to come to a plant full of dinosaurs, etc. But this film too, what this completely recut and dubbed for the US market, with the sent with similar in a similar way. And it seems like somehow, in the midst of the Cold War, these eastern block films were coming through and Being Americanized with, you know, American sounding names, American selling directors, even sometimes adding in additional actors just shooting some short scenes. That's really the starre. I didn't know about all that. I think I read somewhere that it had an alter native ending for the US market, but I didn't looked further than that. So if we're spoiling now spoiler warning. The twist at the end, let's say, would be that the ship is actually an alien ship trying to find Earth. Is that correct? No, no, it's not a twist. That the essentially that was the plot entire time. They were alien entire time. With question, I guess I neglitary society is just too strange for Americans. Okay, okay, right, it's just at the end, you know, at the end of the film, they discovered that they are signs of life on the planets that they are exploring, and that's the happy endine. And in the American version the happy ending is that's all. They made it back, they made it to earth and they see, I think New York or something. I think there are shops of New York in included. Yeah, there's a shot of the stature for liberty. Oh yeah, right, okay, that's that's that's an interesting Endia the real American as well. Absolutely, but to spoil the film now, I really go into the perhaps most claustrophobic a, perhaps the greatest scene, at least to me, in the entire or film, which is when they encounter the twentieth century, essentially the bottoment of everything humanity a strike to leave behind when they, with...

...such optimists, see what they think to be an alien ship and they board only to discover that it is humans from the twentieth century. I think it's essentially Americans or capitalist, whatever you want to say, but you have this remnants of people in, you know, suits, playing casino games, just sitting there all dead, just this desolation and the explorers going in there. It's stuck in a kind of weird horror and this May as it is, keep exploring this ship with such just such culturophobia and who it's what they seem so many other later it's based exploration films as well. Yeah, I just think you agree that this is the best scene in the theme, but I think in some ways I was just for a moment a little bit disappointed because at the Sut of the thing I thought it was going to be some kind who workplace drama, even sitcome in space, which I thought was a fun idea, but then it's inevitably turns into a swillow, which I guess almost all of these films are on some level. I really like how a lot of space exploration stuck into the fear of the unknown, whereas in this situation, the danger actually stamished from humanity itself. It's, you know, an old ship filled with explosives that causes quite a large threat to this, this mission, and I think that's a brilliant idea. I've also got to take a hat off to the end in as well, because I think it's fascinating that they explore the birth of the first baby in space towards the end of the film, because this also kind of hints towards the next evolutionary step from unkind, much like the star child that you get at the end if Kubicks two thousand and one, and I think that's a really nice touch. Yeah, going back on the spaceship exploration, I agree to a really good scene and the fact that humanity would fill the spaceship with explosive really shows a lot about, well, the the way this thought humanity was thinking back then. Yah, so true. I think it really captures the mentality of the twenty pen sold well to it's it's the twenty ten gentry thinking as a twenty second gentry thinking back at itself. And this is, I day of Nuclear War, which of course was in the air at all times, and also the fact that this basically what from one thousand nine hundred and eighty seven, which is a little interesting. So it's the near future of when the film was shot. So they were thinking again that space efferation would come up soon, but also in such a very primitive and almost the ranged way. And if anyone so follow us here, without actually skipping is spoilers, I want spoil how that scenes scene ends, but it is probably one of the most tense and the nerving areas in the entire film, with some even vary intense horrific graphical effects. So it's in so many ways that we talked about equery xp one foreshadowed a lot of what would come in sci fi, but living sci fi a little bit behind here. I think it's so interesting to go beyond that that see that films made today about space doesn't have to be Scifi anymore. It's reality and there are so many biographies coming out, even fictional stories about space, like when we want this just proximaup, which just are not sci fied, just fictional stories set in space, because space is a part of our real life, something which, going back to our last episode, we just seems so magical and so bizarre, and one of the very first films to really do that was a documentary, the one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine for all mankind, which does actually capture a lot of the magic people are feeling in space by simply intertwining footage from every single trip to the moon with narration from the actual astronauts that went there at it's just done in such a floating, non narrative way that it does get drawn into this this English book and Story Book of the Moon and space travel that almost takes in a bit of a poetic life of its own as well. So let's just dive a little bit into this, perhaps not necessarily. The first we're all of the most important early real life, the pictures of space, and I think the only one will discuss in this episode, which actually has real shots from the mood that obviously no graphical effects there, unless you believe the conspiracy theory is like. What you see is the moon. What you see is absolute reality and it's really beautiful and fascinating to watch. Yeah, for mankind... a documentary of it. I would really recomen to anyone who's kind of interested in in this subject, because the images are amazing and the way they are stitched together right. They take bits from the different pot emissions to kind of make a one narrative more less and it's just stunning. It's really a celebration of exploration, of Man's desire to go out in space, which you know, it's basically just that's it doesn't go much further than that, but it's still very impressive and I think you know this whole genre. It's really developed during the space race and I think we are seeing it again become kind of popular because there's a new space race that's probably coming and and I think it's interesting because form and kind is in this in this void right the late s when there was no space e version going on, basically so of a net and so it has even almost a nostalgic feeling while it's celebrating the achievements of the past's which is, I guess, can have different than most of the things we're talking about here. Yeah, that's such a good point. Mature, we still haven't gotten back to the moon, that the last trip was in one thousand nine hundred and seventy two, and it's just has nostalgia. It's so fascinating that, you know, we can with the perspective is so often how about space. This is essentially a story specifically about the past. One of the small problems I did have with the film, so as someone who is not that read up on each of the expeditions and the people who went there, which is that, when you know you combine all of these stories, it was really hard to know exactly who was who, who was speaking, there's so many narrators coming in at any given point. As I think perhaps there's someone who loves the history around this would get even more of it as they recognize each and every single astronaut and recognize their voice and recognizes the story and the foot torch, etc. So for me it was more as about potentially just floating through this history in an almost poetic way, which was quite interesting, and it was quite a magical journey, though also wanted does so much comical too the it's almost little bit too much. I mean most of the put it from the moon. They send to these people just playing around, throwing around, and that's fun, but it seems like that was almost all they did and all they focused on in this film. Yeah, I feel that it is a bit confusing at times. At one point I was like, Oh, we've been listening to me, I'm soon for five minutes. I didn't I did not realize. I thought it was just some other random astronauts. I think the goofing around this fun. I don't remember it being all that dominant, but I don't know. I guess that's that's kind of funny to me and it's also very human, which I think is endearing. Oh yes, I agree with that, and it was really fun, you know, hearing them listen to music, specifically record them and the creating space home movie through it little plaque. It's it's a very special viewing for sure. And I guess talking about need Armstrong, one of the things that kind of struck me is how different, you know, it is kind of a light approach, as you said, and also very, very emotion approach. Why we are glorifying this idea of space expiation for humanity in general. Right, and I had seen shortly before first man, which is the biopic about you know, I'm strong, where where I'm ghostling plays him, and that just takes to completely opposite approach. I mean it's purely a drama. The space exploration is basically a means for man to escape reality. Of for this man in particular, right he's escaping this table grief that he has on earth because his daughter died. And Yeah, it's really just a very personal thing, which I think is really interesting. It's going back to two thousand and one, and so that is. It's kind of this more so iris bend of things which is just very personal and very internal. I like how fish man examines this sacrifice is the astronauts must make to pursue both their dreams and the dreams of humanity as a whole. It's a competent and impressive biopic, with a gosling putting in a perfectly understated turn is Armstrong. For someone like me who prefers the fantastical element to space exploration, it kind of lacks the excitement to the unknown. Well, obviously, because you know it's depicting history, but it's nevertheless still in in fhral in depiction of an important part of our history. And one thing that's worth noting is the excellent sound design. It's really immersive and the the music and the sound effects us throughout our really brilliant. It kind of creating this, this magical world, as its Armstrong source into space. It was also really fascinated by how close they linked him to his family, because I think the core of the empire film in a way, if I'm from his family, and his daughter,...

...who dies at the very beginning, and you see even him, you know, getting these tests and it's just cuts to his daughter being treated for cancer in a very similar device. So you just had all of these emotional overtones this and the connection that Armstrong has to his wife, which essentially is what the entire film in so many ways, is about. It is the way case cell captures the muted emotions and lost here is really, really interesting and just as you said earlier, it's really just about using space as a way to escape and getting away from Earth, and it's fascinating that, talking about all of the magic we so often feel about space, Armstrong doesn't have that, or at least gosling's portrayal of Armstrong doesn't have any of this kind of magical enthusiasm about space. He seems dead, he seems at a loss. It does seems grieving. In the press conferences he shows no excitement that he responds to questions in such a muted way. It's just it's just doesn't seem to be any joy in this adventure. If anything, is simply represents a kind of release, perhaps if want to go into the later part of the film, but that's it, like the magic is just completely stripped away and it's just a man mourning his loss. That's a brilliant description, Chris, and I think Gosling's performance share is pretty impressive. He often gets his reputation if being kind of like a cold, emotionless actor, which I think can be a bit harsh at times, but here he is that, but it's what the role requires. He appears devoid of emotion at times and it's a brilliant juxtaposition between how he's facing up to his despair and then just this magical world of space around him, and I think in the contrast between those two elements where it's really well yeah, that ghosting is really good at here, especially towards the end of the thing where he has to be just a bit more emotional, even though it's still very restrained, I think. I think that scene also things to the score, which I think you mentioned Tom that's in it is really powerful, but the performance that I'm most ingressed within the film is is carefull you, as you know, Armstrong's wife. I think she's really the the end, the emotional core of the thing, and I think this is most of the performances are what makes the film work, as well as just the fact that it works in the sense of showing the moon lending mission with, as you mentioned, the sound design and stuff like that. Oh, I would love to speak about the sound design because this is probable of the more archetypical things about it, but it's also that incredibly well. It doesn't have the same kind of classical music, etc. Doesn't want does, but what it does is does this height and sound, especially in the takeoffs and the sold many of the other scenes, but we just feel the soundscape and it's just done really, really well and missed in at the cinema and I regret that because actually say quested the soundscape. It's just incredible, and the visuals as well, and I feel like for the true mass of experience it would have been one of those films that you really need to see on the big screen. But it still had it a great impact on on me watching at home and I've got to say it it's one of the most fascinating depictions of the space race that I've seen. And of course, while Neil Armstrong was the first man in space, there are a couple of other first as well. You had Uragat in at the first man in space, and Alexi Leonel as the first man to complete spacewalk, and these two men also got biographs made. This last decade got guid in being a little bit more ignored with them. Thirteen release simply fronting his name. It's relatively understandable. It doesn't feel as epic as the other films. It's a lot of interestingly enough, flag waving for rush at, seeing how they were a slightly different country at that time, and it doesn't really feel as strongly about space, because he shoots into space, but most of it simply cuts back to him training or again with his family, and most of it doesn't feel as strong as their emotional ties in the act, thing etc. In first man, however, the biopic of Alexei Leono, which has so many titles in English, from spacewalk to spacewalker to the age or pioneers from two thousand and seventeen, just the year before first man is a lot closer and...

...interestingly, they even start exactly the same way. First man opens with Armstrong testing a plane, taking it to the limits with severe complications, and spacewalker opens exactly the same way, with the Leone in the exact same situation, which is really fascinating. And while one of the weak necessary is that it fails in, I would say, the personal relationships. The character of the why for instance, seems completely in the background and while there are a few flashbacks to him as a child, they're very muted and don't give you that much and to give little bit more critique, it does feel a little manufactured for the first Turkey to forty minutes as we simply preparing for space. Once we get started and once we see the relationships between Leonov and it's co pilot by am and you feel the tension in space. That's exciting and one of the more impressive things there is how incredibly exciting they managed to make it the space walk itself. You feel the horror, you feel how daunting this task is. In the reason why it's impressive is that we've seen spacewalk so many times. It's such a normal part of space exploration films, with any SCI fi film taking place in space, there's this going outside of the ship, but here you really feel how is just overwhelming this is and you feel the danger and while there are perhaps some sheep thrills implemented here, there's just so much horror and excitement and tension in this space shuttle. So many smaller things go wrong and it tried to fix it and you feel it. You feel the bonds getting stronger and stronger and stronger, especially when the film takes A, and I won't spoil it, a surprisingly survivalist twist at the end, covering something that most space exploration and space level films rarely does, and it does it with such sorrow and intensity. And while there is still flag waving here, there's a lot also a lot of critique off the Soviet Union, to the extent that just fear of the Soviet, you didn't could have gotten the two men killed. So it's a really interesting by a pic and know that unfortunately Michael Wals did not have the time to see this film, but I definitely think it's worthy as sister, a brother piece to Firstman. I think this would be up just a perfect double bill one thing I will say about the flag waving is, I feel like for all man kinds is pretty much in that vein as well. I mean the title is for mankind, but the Soviets notes really mentioned, even though they did not, also in terms of the space face. Anyway, I think a lot of films made by the US and by the Soviet Union and then Russia have that that issue. So we have covered the films that are based on reality and cannot be called science fiction anymore, which is such an in thing to do and just shows how far the world has come from the fantastical space efication films we discust in the last episode. But for science fiction still exists in space exploration. We want to go further. We really go to new planets, you want to discover new life and throughout the space era was so, so many different films, most of them we won't have time to mention. If Saul was their friends and I'm sure it would have dived into test pilot pricks or it would have covered the douple Ganger, which I'm sorry to say. So since you're listening in a participating double gang, you just felt like a poor shadow of two thousand and one in the effects and with a very pulpy plot. But many films did do better and many films did go into very different to rain, and one of those Earth a horror film known as alien. You can't mention alien without thinking about the immortal tagline in space no one can hear you scream. I love that because the film just taps into the fears of the unknown and the dangerous encounters that humanity may have in the far reaches of space, if we ever got there, and I suppose with the Scots Science fiction horrors. It's another iconic film within the genre that has also spawned many imitators but has never been bettered, and it follows the crew of a transport ship who investigated distress call from an unknown planet and unintentionally bring back a deadly live form on the ship. The use of the incredible design where by Hrkey...

...go brings an organic, nightmarish feel to the aliens, as well as the appearance of the crashed ship that they explore on the planet. And, as we mentioned for Equy XB one, it feels like alien also laid the ground work for a lot of the genre tropes that are bet become commonplace over the years by establishing a lot of key ideas and concepts that we become familiar with as subsequent filmmakers have tapped into that same subgenre of space horror and try to build on the incredible imagination with discot. I'm so, so sorry, Tom but this would said that I have to e him to ninety seven and plant of the vampire big which is a film by Mario Baba. It's a bit pulpy and it's a lot like a bidden planet, so if but it does actually have a scene so much like the one where defined the spaceship and it's an incredible, incredible scene, both in craft and in in emotions esthetics. So I'm not going to take a more time with planet of Vampires. But there's a slight, small shut out to the Maria Barba Pope Classic Kinyan wit alien, though, as I mentioned in our what scares as podcast last year, the alien design is one of the scariest monster designs of all time and it's so lifelike and, as Lauren pointed out in that episode, one of the things are so interesting about is just how animalistic it feels. It really feels, really it acts real, and that's the such a big part of what works with alien. You have just have this wild animal loose on the ship and it's more deadly any animal you can imagine from work. So it's hard to think of a more influential film than an alien side from two thousand and one within within this genre, basically anything that's vaguely I wish is really indebted in that to alien and we talked about carry earlier on and that scene where they explore the ship. It really made me think of Ali and it's kind of escapable when you have people in space under threat from something. It's a thing I respect to not and I enjoy. I like it, I don't love it too. I think it's because in many ways the film alien is kind of like the creature alien. It's familiar, efficient, it's kind of perfect machine, but I don't know, it just doesn't really featured another level for me and some of it and knows me of it to a bit. I think alien is very much a firm about surviving in space more than about exploring space. I think it's more about space exploration going wrong and discovering too much or discovering something you don't want to discover. I really liked the film. I think it's proved this my favorite of all the aliens that have been made, even though all of the films are quite different from one another. And I'm trying to think, but I lie. I cannot think of another film, a film back then, that featured an alien that was that well done for the time. I mean it was extremely scary as as you said, Chris, almost animal like. So it was human in a way but at the same time unlike anything we know you're on earth, which I think is what makes it so scary for us. And of course, discovering alien life is big part of space exploration as well, which kind of ties it with the Laris two thousand and one and saw many of the other films we've been talking about and going back to two thousand and one, that film of course had a sequel, and that's equal. Is Not very talked about, but it had a sequel. So how do we feel about that? Equal guys, I really enjoyed two thousand and ten. It's an exciting film, though it struggles to live up to the brilliants of its predecessor, but if you judge it on its own, is kind of like an isolated were really inventive. It's a gripping film and not a bad entry into the the space expiration genre. There's some great commentary on the Cold War and it is a more conventional space expiration film than two thousand and one. You got a Soviet in US afternaughts joining joining force to investigate where the first mission went wrong. And it is also based on off sea clocks sequel novel. So it follows on from the same threat. But as you said, Chris, it's hard to come out of that shadow of of two thousand and one because Kubricks... the bar so incredibly hither. Anyone that follows on from that it's going to struggle to match the profound brilliance of the year predecessor. It's not even so much about the profound brilliant either. It's a fake which I've been downgraded, like the scene when they are moving from one shape to another and you just see clearly that they are in front of a green school. See a little blur around them, which it is something you did not see in two thousand and one at all. This is so it's just so fascinating that even that got down graded in a filmmade sixteen years later and have now the thing that was really rising with two thousand and ten. Well, perhaps not surprising. It's the is the wrong word, because it does have reputation for not exactly being that similar to it the first film. It's IT sells you opens up an action film with Roy Sneider taking over the role as Hayward Floyd it just being contacted by a Soviet agent and you just have this kind of dynamics there which is like we going on a new we going on the adventure. I think you're quite right, though, Tom it is about the shadow as well, like it does have flashes off the first film, How ninezero comes back, we see Bowman again, and those scenes are, while a shadow of the predecessor, probably some of the strongest in the film. That at the same time you have hell Mirron with a Russian accent. So know it goes. There's there's something weird in this puzzle. I haven't seen it, but Helen moving with the vision accent. That sounds like a positive to me, but just more generally on the film. So I haven't seen it, but I think there's it's kind of an extreme case of what happens to kind of any high profile SPECI expiration film is that they get compared to two thousand and one, and that comparison is always tough. I mean, in this case they invited it because it's a sequel, but it also happened with interstellar, which has really very little to do with two thousand one, but everyone kept comparing its regardless. You could really tell wait interstellar that Nolan really wanted to be tough break, could you? I don't know. I don't feel that way at all to me the film. I mean, I don't see the famous being that close, aside from obvious subject matter, and there's many one seen that you could relate. But yeah, I don't. I don't really compare to him like that much. Me Neither. But that's both because I think it's like you failed in that room, though I think one other director it did actually seem to imitate a little bit malick. It does have those quarantines in the beginning, it does take this low flow there and establish character relationships, etc. But I think that's a field develop is just feels vacuous. It does. It even feels a little bit silly, especially to watch the climax so a lot of the things there are really well done. I especially really, really like the first planets day actually land on and they kind of dynamics that developed there. But it's interestellar is a bit of a mixed film for me. I can certainly see the comparisons to two thousand and one, I mean Inter celler. It throws up more questions than answers and it's another head scratcher. But once you kind of get to grips of it you've got another profound exploration of what it means to be human. And like you, Chris, I also enjoy the NEAT tricks along the way, such as the the draft taking, demonstration of time dilation after the crew visit and unstable water logged planet. These tricks that no one throws in along the way really keep the film alive and it could perhaps even be the closest of filmmakers ever come to recreating the overwhelming transcendental experience of two thousand and one. Maybe that's high praise, but I really struggle to kind of find any film other than interstellar. It is come close to kind of the ambition in the scale of what Kuback set out with. So I'm a big fan of Inter Stedda. It's one of my my favorites, they know, and I would say it's actually the first thing I would think about in terms of space exploration. And specifically there's one seem to me that is really all about that, which is the scene in the first planets with the ways, and that to me is so impressive. And Yeah, again, when I think space exploration, I think of that scene. It seems weird because it's not in space, but it's another planets, and it's all about you don't know what you're seeing, you are going into this unknown place and anything could happen, and I think the thing really gets that right. I think it's also the way the reason I don't think it's has that much to do with two thousand one really is because it is a very emotional film, as you mentioned. The start...

...of it is they focused on characters, which is definitely not what Kubik would do, and it's all about emotion. It's all about, you know, love, being this connection, all of that. You can whether or not that works is another question, but I do think it's working on the very different level. Yeah, I would agree that interest to is definitely one of the most ambitious SCI FI space exploration film that to come out since two thousand and one and even though I didn't really like the film, I did appreciate the fact that it explores multiple planets, which is really what space exploration is as well. For me, and even though it's been a while since I've seen the film, the first planet, as you guys mentioned, the the wattery one, is one that really stuck with me, or for this time, I could clearly remember them lending on it and spending some times and what I took to them on that on this planet, even though why, I don't really remember much about the film in what that happens before or after. So yeah, I think it shows how much is this scene, since we all mention it stuck with us and now, even though nothing really impressive happens, it's something that, I don't know, I guess was very unusual and makes us all remember it. I think I feel exactly the same way. That is the one scene that really stands out and I think it is exactly what mentioned, with the idea of time and also the conditions there. It's just just something about that scene and time and the experiences the way they respond to it, and it does the philosophical impact in the way as well. That doesn't work so well, which I guess it's also of the things that ties is a little bit closer to cubric in the philosophy and the contemplation there. But I think it's a very good point that the main distinction between how Nolan and Dub it looks at is relationships and the right that it is the human relationships that shine through to the very end. You're right there, Chris, because as well as the incredibly imaginative direction that the story takes, the same with all the crazy planets and all stuff going wrong for the astronauts. So it is the emotional core the film that really hits hardest. Unforgettable scenes of Matthew mcconnochie where he's receiving really are in space. That's stand out for me as well, and Nolan really does it a great job of the world building here, and I think that's a key aspect of space expiration and it ties in nicely with Billian film that I know you saw this week, Chris, on the silver globe by Andreisulowski, Polish Sci fi film, and this one. It provides a tantalizing glimpse into a fantastical future where astronauts embark on a mission to locate new planets that will be able to sustain human life. So there's a few parallels there and in on the silver globe. These pioneers the craft land on a strange planet that is capable of supporting life and the storyline follows their children and subsequent generations as a new bread of humanity struggle to survive alongside a hostile alien race they encounter on the planet. And this film was sadly never finished. The cups that we have today has parts missing because the director ran into some problems with funding and political issues. So it's a shame that we don't have the complete film. But what we do have is an incredible space exploration film. First, well then past the tie back probably does the in becking. It is it because on the field of globe really does really incredibly well with its world building and with philosophy as well. I think it's a really interesting comparison because it takes space exploration to a completely different place than what we're used to do. Essentially, humans arrived with all of their technology and what the end up with is barbarism. You end up with just a few astronauts just lost on a planet, having children and those children developing is kind of mystical religion were earth is glorified and it's essentially everything that's a last it does with this utter chaos and emotional accaggeration and as some of my calls at least. No, I don't like understand you sky directoral style very much. I think that the specific facial expressions he gets out of his actors and actresses, it just rubs me completely the wrong way. It's it's kind of off putting expression, but here, with this madness, it worked so much better. And the way you see astronauts essentially cave to their bit...

...more basic instincts. You See, not to spoil the film, but additional astronauts interacting with this place as well, and what happens, I think just the large scope of the world is fascinating. And this one trivia, which I thought was so it's reading here because it's quite unique, is that it's not by accident that Allowski is adapting this true vilergy of books known as the solar trilogy. It was actually his grandfather who wrote them back in essentially the brink of the twenty century. They came up. Friend of the books came out in one thousand nine hundred. So just ask the nineteen century was closing. It's just space the material created before, essentially before the twenty four thirty century had even properly started, and here interpreted in the S and released in the late S. it's very different kind of space expiation film. It's very ambitious and bold and daring, and that's perhaps wise. You ask. He struggled with it. He's been enough, more than you could do here, because he tries to cram too much into a short space of time. Like you said, it's based on trilogy of novels written by his grandfather and I feel like the grand scope of this would have word better across a series of films. Having said that, what we've got is still a fantastical rider, a brilliant journey. The way that the camera rose around the planet, just studying the insanity, all the chaos that's that's happening in there is fantastic and it is a great space expiration film that really deserves more attention. It definitely doesn't. It also really need to give a shout out to the custom design and it's because these customs and the way these characters look in the religious should they create it. It's just incredible. It's some of the probably some of the best custom designing I've seen in a film like this. It's takes up an entire world off its own. It's again doingly epic. And an other part of this film is so interesting is that the first act is essentially a found for the film, because you have these astronauts discover the log of the first settlers on this planet. You see the crash landing and essentially they have cameras on them and they film everything as they explore and developed with recordings, then speaking erectly to the camera, seeing their emotional state evaporate further and further, including a very strongly emotional tale of the astronaut that essentially survives longest in this seeing the decay. It's really really strong and all the things that makes this the first lossy film I actually quite liked, though I really did to give his other films and you look after this as well. But it's not the only film that takes on a kind of dirch angle in space exploration. There was a recent film from two thousand and thirteen called Rupa report, which does that as well, and it just may I just say before I pass this long to my co hosts, found footage or just space footage work so well with space exploration because it feels natural. Recordings of people in space like this is exactly what the saw in for all men kind to. They record themselves, they shoot it, you have this footage, so it feels really the different way. It feels realistic that this would be shot this way and I think I would actually like to see more found footage film face or just footage, film from space in this style, because it worked for me. It really worked for me. The film has some problems, but but I'll let my gowalt speak first and then I'll get into that. So I think found footage is kind of a double edged sword in this in the case of the swim at least, I agree that it's an interesting device that could be used more in Sci Fi, but in this case it kind of it really is going for something, something that is very immersive and realistic, right, because we are there with them, and it kind of shutters the buyer of fiction, right. It's kind of made to look that's a hood point of fine footage right, but it also highlights the more unrealistic parts. So I think it's that that sense it is a double edged sword. I think you're very BOT is generally a pretty effective film. I think it works well, especially once it gets in the second part more overtly like a thriller. I mean it's start from the beginning, but obviously you get sometimes you build up. I just don't think in the end that the characters are will not interesting. But one thing I found very impressive in the same is the way, on what I assume is a pretty low budget, they did zero gravity. You know, they did do the whole thing where back in two thousand and... basically where you have the rotating thing where you go from one from gravity to nong gravity to gravity in the other way, and there's a shot there that looks very good. It's not highlighted because it's fun footage, so it's hard to really show it that much, but I think they did a very good job with that and it does help with the immersion in that sense. I really like found footage films in general, so it wasn't a surprise that I quite like this film as well. I guess I would agree with you, mature. I don't really know about the unreal realistic ports, because definitely not someone who knows anything about science. So all I saw on screen looked believable, to me at least, so it's not something that really bothered me when I was watching the film. I really agree that Foun footage works very well for space exploration because obviously the spaceships around would be filled with cameras everywhere, and it would also make sense that the astronauts themselves would have camera on their space suit when they're exploring. So the film really feels well real because even to the characters are not very interesting, as you said. I guess in a way it makes them more human, because humans in general are not very interesting, let's let's put it this way. I think so. Yeah, I don't know. All over all, I found I found it to be a very believable film, but once again, I don't know anything about science in general, so maybe it was filled with mistakes and stuff that scientifically speaking, or impossible, but for me it worked pretty good. I don't claim to be an expert, but I think the main thing that really doesn't make sense in the film is just the basic concept, the fact that they are sending a mission to you oper and when no one has even been to mass I mean it's very far. You W Bo, very they fare. I mean going to Masss is hard enough, and just a bunch of small things, but it's basically just a basic concept and to the point that I thought that it was kind of something if I was going on, but doesn't turn out that way. Okay, yeah, I didn't thought about it as Whay, yeah, it's true. Europe is near Jupiter, I think right. Yeah, yeah, it's yeah, okay, yeah, indeed, it's very far, very far away compared to Mars. So, yeah, I guess it's strange. But maybe we have acquired the ability to travel for and Mars. Isn't that interesting? And maybe we believe that this Europe planet would be more interesting to export and Mars. Or maybe we could explore this planet and we couldn't explore Mars. Maybe that's why, I don't know. Like you, climb out, love found footage films and I think you're very P report makes excellent use of the and footage style of storytelling, as we experience the ship's mission through the on board cameras and this is also spiced with a dramatic interview to ramp up for the tension. There are flaws in this as well, because the timeline of the narrative it. We don't watch things in chronological order and it seems unnatural that you'd be watching something like this where the documentary team of spice it up to attention. Or is really it's kind of like a report of what these people found on Europa, which is one of Jupiter's moons, and it's an emotional rides. I know that you said that you didn't really connect with the characters, but I thought that it was really helped by a memorable turn from Charlter Copley, is this South African actor who made his name in district nine, and there are tough questions pose along the way. One of the main ones is whether any of the astronauts lives are as important as the discovery they hope to make, and this is a notion that keeps US glued to the screen throughout. There's also an excellent line uttered by one of the characters, which kind of summarizes everything I love about space exploration films and why I keep coming back to this subgenre. To find out with there any more films I've missed, and the line is, who are we? Why are we here? Where do we come from and, more importantly, are we alone? And that just sums up everything nets really intrigues me about space inspiration. Shner. I would actually like to add that it was the build up in many ways that I enjoy them all and I didn't find the characters some of them work really well. I agree on coplay and I thought some of the old others, including Michael Niquist Stroll. We're very effective for what they were meant to do and you feel, as you take in with them for Shrush, a long time before anything really starts to happen, that you are getting not a little bit better. You do see the team and you do get some really motivations there. And I also want to this Igrisoncti a clement that every ruper is probably one of the more logical places...

...we want to go, because in there's there. It's prettily all the most exciting places to explore because it is the place most likely to have life. And I just love the little clip of nearly grass Tyson talking about the going to a group of to dry some fishing. In the beginning I just slicing in this little cuts of real world discussion. It works really well and it hypes you up. Though where the film struggles to me is when they actually start. But when actually get there, honestly, and the plot started be more conventional and you seem really smart. Crew members make some very obvious horror style mistakes and it just feels a little cheaper in the way than what it started out. That's because until that point it's been relatively emotionally restonant, but once the actual dramatic element of it, if you will, start to really take off, it deluded. The writing goes a little bit downhill. So just to get back for a second on the realism question, I don't want to be super knit picky, it's just I think the fun footage brings that out for me. The what the desire to nitpick the thing because of the technique, I think, and just Yopa, yes, it's super interesting to visit because there's a lot of what are there, but we would not send the man mission to Europa before sending one to master I guess really no reason. They mentioned at one point. Oh yes, we decided to send people because people can react to and plagetable thing and what we see in the thing, the way the people behave, I don't really believe in. For the most part, I think they're extremely stelliflous, in ways that I don't think untidy tracks. Again, I think the thing works for if we take it as a twitter, because it's just well done right, it's effective, but I think there's a lot of these small aspects which hold it back for me. Over one thing able to add in as well. You also have these little interviews with the people are behind the expedition as well, just giving you and giving some feedback on the science involved. Now how this this was done, making it seem a bit documentary like, but that also felt like some of the sheeper part of the film. So something I would like to talk about the film, and and I think it would be interesting because I believe we disagree a bit about about it, is the ending. So I guess we'll have to spoil it now. So if you care about spoilers, please work is into this section. Spoil of warning. So I remember that we had a bit of a talk about well, the very last two or three minutes where there is only one astronauts left and they discovered that there is some kind of t creature, I guess, on this moon. I think it worked extremely well. For me, the ending was very effective because, as I said, I because I didn't notice anything wrong in a scientific aspect. So I was quite immersed in the film and I felt that whatever I was watching was quite real. When I saw the ending and the fact that there is indeed life, I guess it make it quite believable and effective because so far what I was watching felt extremely true. It didn't. The film didn't build up anything that would lead to believe that there is some kind of horrific, let's say, element or SCI FI is creatures on there. So I guess at what makes it so effective for me was the fact that not think really prepared me to see this type of creature. Yeah, I think it's just a question of how you respond to from float. I guess I'm generally not a fan, but being said, I do think the ending works. They were because at that point it's just a it's a fine for me and I think the moment where you see it is is very effective and indicate on that in is quite good. It looks great and it also has this mix of both horror, right, because it's literally pretty horrible, but also optimism of yes, they succeeded in the mission. That's true as well. So and it is the mystake ending, specially seen from the people who are interviewed after. And it also has this thing that add bit, but I guess could also be a strength, where throughout the film we have the interview with one of the characters. Seems like this character survived, but then it's revealed that this is a this is footage from the ship as well, which was an interesting narative. The vice a kind of a trick. The documentary feeling made the mate. So it worked in a way, though I else want to say that well, I didn't mind the final shot, I thought. was actually quite impressed by the short of thought. The graphics of the creature...

...defined this interesting and was everything very fascinating. Financial to beyonce, it's just shows, but they to feed the shows that they found life, even though it's a very horrific, horrifying type of life. But what I really disliked the boiling American get. Did it if the way the characters died essentially just pulled through the eyes and solve the reactions like yeah, oh no, it's in. They just really didn't broke me. I think all the both those final scenes for Area Bay's just falling through the eyes it did. That really didn't work for me. It is very misleading. Chris, I agree how they show interviews with the last remaining survivor of this shit. So you presume that she's going to pull through to the end and but I think it adds an emotional impact to the end that really resonated with me. And I like how Europe report doesn't follow the normal conventions of encounters with alien life. We don't see the alien life until the very end of the film and the kind of scientific approach that the crew take to the discovery and trying to work out what's going on. I found that part often just as fascinating as when a spaceship's crew actually encounters an extraterrestrial life, because a lot of it is left to our imagination. Obviously that's a revealed towards the end, put up until that point it's an intense experience because it's left your imagination. What is it it's out there? What is it that's causing all these problems for the crew, and I think that aspect of your rope report which really well for me, well, I think, but of it also is the way all the cur members died before this. It's all they're all dying because of the in dinments, right. One of them is kidding because there's a problem with this space suits, stuff like that. It's not. They're not killed in ways that are that's strange right. So I think that also makes that final moment working it better. And just like to quickly add in as well that there's another imagine if you take on a spaceship crew encountering alien life in the film life, and this sees the crew come up against it. Dangerous new life formats discovered on Mars and it's growth from a small cellular organism to a far more hostile creature is fascinating and whilst it is relatively it borrows heavily from the alien template. It's an intense fill ride for the most part and is one that's well worth seeking out if you're interested in space expiration, the speaking of alien and encounters with alien life, and perhaps you complete opposition to Europe a board rear that alien life is more horribly explained and seeing with a complete backstory is, of course the alien preque will prometheus, which I know Tom has some things to say about. I'm actually a huge fan of Prometheus, not to the extent that I prefer it a very alien but I think it's done remarkably well and it's great to see really Scott returned to his franchise to add depth to his origin story for the pilot, this space jockey that we first see an alien, which is, if you remember, just you see a skeleton of a huge creature in the crash spaceship where the pods are all resting, and it's a film about mankind searching for its origins and then it turns out that we find something for more sinister and I really like the notion of the aliens, from alien being potentially genetically created by a far superior race than our salves, traveling through space trying to find planets to colonize, and it just opens up a huge world of ideas and possibilities and it does it in a way that is faithful to Scott's initial view and it does feature a lot of familiar tropes that kind of borrowed heavily from the stories that we've seen in the previous alien films, but I think it brings enough originality to it to stand out as its own brilliant piece of world building. Well, I want to start out by giving a complement to probe the ears, and it is probably one of the very few compliments I would give the film, which is that it looks absolutely stunning and with this problem, the health of the Best Cinematography of one died twelve and the effect to are spectacular. I will also say that Michael Fassbender was really strong in the unnerving role of David, who is not quite human, to put it like that. But in most other guards, and I'm sorry saying say this, it felt just flat and dead... me. The characters themselves act in a way that's much less intelligent than in Europa report, including, and I'm not going to spoil it, the way the way, for instance, some pivotal characters died by simply running straight instead of sideways. It feels like such a poorly written and poorly constructed film. I didn't feel the characters, didn't feel the drama, though I suppose if you are gripped by the actual mythology, I can see if I would get something far more out of it. I can certainly see why you might have problem to the film. It's not without its flaws, but, like you said, Chris, I'm invested in the mythology and I think it's brilliant. Really. Scott is trying to provide some sense of answers to these grand questions, like the questions that the crew member mentioned in Europe report, and it is great to have things left to the imagination, but it's also great to see the vivid imagine nation of a filmmaker come to life in in such a way that you know, brings in through an experience alongside it, a great thrill ride, and I think that Scott bounces those very well here. And talking of directors taking plate Thrill Right, let's talk about a film that essentially is just a thrill ride, even if it has an emotional core. Talking, of course, of gravity, which is about, let's just not spoil thing and say it's about astronauts in space. There is an accident and with what almost seems like one Pake, you get this survivalist, action packed fight for survival in space and it's it looks beautiful, the effects are incredible, but route but unlike from medios, it doesn't perhaps have any real philosophical questions its answer. So how did gravity work for you? Were you just grabbed by the experience or did you find it far too thin? We like gravity actually having on this in it on DVD, even which I cannot you imagine what it must be like seat in the theater and into the and all of that. I would be like to do that at one point. But I don't think it's space exploration. To me at least it's not, and I would not even say it's sci Fi. It's really just happening on the ISS which is a real thing. I don't think it's super realistic, but it's no less than the average action film. So to me it's not really specification. Also, I think. Yeah, I believe Graevet is not about space expiation. If anything, it's about going back to Earth. So living space, trying to survive. I actually saw gravity in the theaters when it came out. I do not remember if I so it in treatise or I don't. I don't think I did. I remember that I quite liked it. I thought it was creative in the way we see the characters going from one spaceship to another to a space capsule and trying to survive this and this and this. It does it throws I guess, but overall it was a quite pleasant experience and this type of environment or survival film works, I believe, quite well because of how many great dangers they are in space. I think you all know by now that I'm a huge fan of gravity. We seem to talk about it in quite a few podcasts, but I don't mind because I absolutely love the failed. Like you guys say, I think it's a bit of a stretch. Caul in it space expiration. It aims to fit in that kind of realistic and notion of a disaster happening in space that could happen now, in the near future perhaps, and it's just a brilliant thrill ride. It never acts up and it's an intense experience that I got to see in d at the cinema. I'm not a fan of Free Day, but it work wonderfully for here and it is one of those experiences that just takes your breath away and really emotional journey. And yet there's not much else I can say about it, but I love it. I think it's just too bad at all. Isn't here to, you know, rip this film apart. It fill me really being here and that is not here. So but I mean I have to say that I broadly agree. I think...

...the way it's made, the way it shot, you feel the tension in such a wonderful way. It this really is at real ride from beginning to end. I think my only complaint about it would be that it's also does a set of explosion after explosion. Some of this feels a little bit cheaper really. It's kind of feels like we need more excitement. We need more excitement, but more excitement we get and it's shot beautifully, it's done wonderfully and it's just such a testament to the type of effects and the type of film even we can make today. Another excellent film that strives for that kind of realism that gravity goes for is Danny Boyle's sunshine. Now this is one I like to mention because all of the obstacles that are faced by the crew along the way, they were all informed by the science of Professor Brian Cox, which adds a sense of realism to the fantastical. The fact that the scientific advisor working on the film and it's a really thrilling science fiction film that imagines a future where the sun is dying out and a team of astron wants to scent to deliver a huge payload to set off a reaction that will reignite the sun. It's another beautiful journey into space towards the Sun. The visuals were astounding and the soundtrack is incredible and it kind of hits a lot of the notes that we discussed with Europa report, where there's a crew who were making the journey and there's all the basis in science and how they react to all these dangers and perils at the encounter and it's really well thought out, although it does devolve into a less imaginative thriller towards the last third of the film, for the most part of the buildup is really intense and it's another great space expiration film. Yeah, agree with completely with that and I think that's all of the tragedy. If the will does really great long build that book. You you know, you get that experience and then they kind of throw it all away and go almost into like a from dust to town type of story line. Read this flip everything that was only really effective. It goes in a bit for horror territory and it looks great. You can feel the tension, but it's also the such as which. So another thing that I think fits in with those more realistic approaches is the Martian. I would come that as sci fi and a and as space exploration, because we haven't been to mass as as as well as I'm concerned, as far as I know, and it has this very, very hot sci fi approach right it was. It's notation from a book by a guy who I think is either a biologist or an engineer, because the whole thing is, you know. But Damon is, as he always is, stuck somewhere and he has to survive with esstually a mass for a few months. I love this film. I think it's everything that I guess you guys mentioned with your Boypot is what I find in that film, the very science based approach to the practicality and that kind of humanism, that optimism and confidence in humanities capacity in surviving basically anything, and I think by demon is extremely charming in it. It's a fam I love it's really brings I guess it's another one that I think about with spected specispiation in the sense that it has that optimist and that's kind of you to the future, that we can do it attitude which is maybe a little simplistic, but I think it works quite well in that thing. I think you're completely right there. And I didn't love the Martian, but it does some things that don't really invasive creation films these days and they completely it does have that optimism, it does has that lost the space story line where you just have that one character needing to survive, and it was also fun with to see Matt Damn trapped the Motor Planet as well, obviously being trapped and interstellar guy always. Maybe he'll be typecast as that guy trapped the planet from now on. I mean, so a funny article estimating the cost of so saving the demon over the course of a few food movies, because seven y trying. So that's and yeah, it's it's realicilous. That guy. Just need to take more care. Really. I also enjoyed the Martian. I didn't think it's a brilliant film, but it's fun ride. Matt Damon is excellent. Is the every man kind of astronaut. He's very relatable and down to with, almost like the opposite of say, Ryan Goslin's character in first man, and that's what the film needs here. Works because he is the main driving force. You need to be invested in him. where it filed down, I thought, was the ending, as if do that almost... rescuroom from the planey. I found it a little cheap and perhaps far fast, and that kind of crowded my judgment of the film, I rule, because up until that point I really did enjoy seeing this survival of every mind trying to make it on a dangerous planet. Well, yeah, I don't have much to add about the Martian. I think it's a pretty, pretty good film. It's indeed quite fun to see Ma Damon stock in and another planet and trying to survive, even though it does it quite well, as you said. Yeah, it's a bit unbelievable that the Naz I would really go through all this trouble just to save him, but you know, I guess it's a movie, so we can do whatever they want. And I believe it's also quite interesting because, well, is my demon is stuck on the planet alone and even though the movie doesn't talk too much about it, it's also deals a bit with him having to live with in a complete isolation from the rest of humanity. Yeah, leaving in insulation. That's crazy. That would never happen. Right. Anyway, I think I'm a bit of hypothetical in loving the Martian, I suppose because, yes, the ending is not very realistic, I don't think. But I think, I guess I'm so invested in the film at that point that's that works for me and I think the way it's works. Do think NASA, the issue of NASA spending a lot to save him is addressing the thim. I think that works. But your point about isolation, Clem it also makes me think of another thing. We did mention, that moon. I guess I don't know if that's really space exploration. It's kind of debatable, but that really is a thing that deals with going crazy all alone on the planet moone. Th also a great example of low budget the SCI FI. I'm not sure if you counts basicparation either in the same sense that gravity, as both counts basicparation. It is about life on the moon in a way. So it does something new that they haven't really down the indoor explored before. And there's the way it goes into their routines and the way it's you know, obviously plays a limit into two thousand and one with the man with computer as well, and there's the phenomenal performance from Sam Rock. Well, it's a really tighter when we consider space exploration films that revolve around people shouldren to survive and perhaps even losing their mind, a great place to go to would be the recent film high life, and this is a very bleak and nasty film about a dangerous reat mission to the two beaches of our solar system. In this film, the ship's crew comprises of criminals who being sentenced to death. They take this mission as an alternative. Keep film full of despair and horrors. The crew against each other and progress ever clearer to and on learn our come. Robert Patterson Stars and in this and he really shines stor know of an art house hard. It kind of explores the existential dread of such a situation. Yeah, I mean, if we talk about interstellar being pick up from two thousand and one, even though there are some clear, obvious differences, high life really is that the matic and emotional pickup from Sole Aris. And both of these films utterly Pale in comparison to the to the masterpieces they are compared to, but I had to say I totally enjoyed high life. I think we'll probably debate this that disagree here a bit, but I really think it's one of the niece's best, certainly from this century, and I just love the way she brings in this kind of melancolic minimalism to the sci Fi Chen Bra coupled with this raw, blunt violence and emotion. I mean, yes, it's okay that that description may indeed sounded both or two, two thousand and one, but it is truly the human is at the fore pront here. You see it in all the messiness of justice, microcustom of convict in an experimental space, and you really feel the emotional essence. Tom Already mentioned patterns and excellent performance. But there's also let them not, who is wonderful here and her co worth so much ground. And then you also have this emotional tie between father and doctor, which is what the film opens up with, and it's something I don't really recall seeing this way before, with this Robert Pattinson in space with his baby daughter, just looking after her. Were looking after the spacecraft as well, and it does. It feels so different from...

...every other film we have been discussing all these two episodes. Think there's a brilliant contrast in the set design as well. We're being quite a low budget, minimal less picture. There's a great contrast between films that we've discussed like interstellar and gravity and the Martian where there's all these technologically advanced spaceships of all the latest gadgets. And how I do have the latest gadgets, but the way they're depicted is much more similar to the clunky spaceship that we get in alien and it works really well with the bleak cleanings of the story. And Denise just managed to pose some interesting questions about humanity and it goes back into that kind of profound notion of space exploration that we see in two thousand and one and Solaris. That kind of introspective idea of what is out there and why we are here. At those fundamental question shils the drive the genre. HIGHLIFE is within my like more in theories than in practice, which I would say is true of all of Catonese films that I've seen. But I do like it. I think it's especially kind of refreshing that it's usually a different it's using specification in a very different manner than most films. I didn't really connect it with Solaris so that much. I can see that, but I guess it's I guess I can see that, especially in the sense that it is a very organic film, very interested in body fluids, which is not something you see lots in in Si fine. And Yeah, it's just very different. It's a very athouse film in space, which, again just because it's different in know itself that that's that's interesting. In the end, I don't think it really trueknee says all that much. I guess I didn't get all that much from it, not as much as I would have wanted to anyway. But I do think Pattinson is good and be know she's doing best impression of the space, which which is fun. But yeah, I like maybe not as much as some of these other things. I can agree that the film has four there's one thing the particularly actually just playing load. It's little relevantly normal, but it's that one minute the sequence of exposition where we just jumped to Earth to see an interview with the professor and it test it doesn't work. It's really are that it's there. It's essentially does the scene. We find out very early on that these are prisoners and that, you know, they probably wants the earth again, and that's more or less. It's just this guy having a moral issue with it, and it doesn't that seemed to just be cut. I don't think there's any need for it whatsoever. I also can see some issues with the characters in terms of their portrayal and their emotions. Obviously this film is very stripped back. Most of these characters you don't get close to at all. There's just a few at the forefront that you kind of just get a feel for and you experience them in a way we should thought working really well, but others just disappear in the background. I think what that, what really struck with this is just the poetic way it's minimized and the way it minimizes time, especially with how time works in space. I mean it almost feels a little bit like a lesser my friend Baltos are, which you will I know we'll just get an upcoming episode on never able presence, but it just has this way where time is just dripped back and you just have these kind of emotional, very root make relationship is what happens in space, what happens with the characters when someone dies, and just the way it is resolved and felt. So I forgot about that explicition scene, but that I would say that I find the idea of let's send these people that are condemned to today in space. I kind of love that because it means that we get characters that we don't usually get in those things. Right, in most cases it's those young scientists and astronauts that are very invested in their mission. In this case is just a bunch of people who we don't want to be there, except for the notion. Even then it's just makes further different environments, which I think is different. You're a positive I would agree with that. It's great seeing these devous characters resort to savagery. It's the kind of thing that you don't usually see in it space expiation film and in it breaks really well in this this outing. There's one of it interesting space expiration film that I want to bring up, which is a Swedish film called, and I are from two thousand and eighteen. Now. This is fascinating because it's features a spaceship that's carrying settlers to Mars and it's knocked off course and just goes spiraling out into the solar system. And the reason I wanted to bring this one up is because it's almost like the opposite of two thousand and one, where two thousand and one charts the...

...evolution of humanity and progression, and I are a depict the devolution of mankind as the spaceship gets further and further away and the crew just regress into these almost eight like creatures as they face up to the realization of the the situation that they're in, and it's a really fascinating counterpoint to two thousand and one to consider it like that. Yeah, I haven't seen that on the oder, but that sounds very fast. NEAT, give that a look, but you could write. This idea of unraveling space is something that we've seen in a few different films. Obviously we saw that in so they are is as well, where there's this degree of mental instability with what they face. You even see it in equery xp one, which is like the pivotal seeing that the film opens with with, with just losing grasp of reality and evolving in this way. And of course you see it in high life. We're justice, both mentioned earlier. You get the different characters, some of which are all lady mentally unstable. You get your experience that strength. I think there's this idea of space and space exploration pushing humans to kind of limit, very break is really interesting to see. One thing at that you mention is that we are in some sense and kind of a second golden age for this type of them and I think it's because, just like in the S and s, there's kind of a new movement towards space, but this time it's driven by China and other countries as well as the US and the so let's Russia. I'm really curious to see what China comes up with. In terms of cinema related to to that. There's already been at least one called the wondering earth, which is not a very good thing. It's very much inspired by big Hollywood spectacle in mostly bad ways, but it is an adaptation from a book by an auto called Musition, pronouncing that as best as I can, who made a trilogy of books that is fascinating, called the freebody problem, and I think that shows that there is something there and there is another perspective we can we will see, I think, in the coming years in terms of specific creation, and I'm very, very excited about that actually, especially because they have the means to do big spectacle right, which obviously only us really has had historically. You look at something like so now is it's in spressive, impressive visually, but not in the same way that something back has in one can be, and I think the Chinese might be able to do it. The question, of course, is the whole of censorship. But say that I'm optimistic that we will maybe get while one, not two great films from from them. That's such a great point might do. I think you're also completely right in that second are up based eperation. A lot films in this episode have been from the two thousand and ten. It'll be the biopicsor be the proper science fiction, and I think we can expect are far more. We obviously also talked a lot about at Astra in a recent best films of two thousand and Nineteen episode, which, interestingly, is a bit of a flip side of first man as well. Very in first man you have someone prowling to space to essentially escape humanity, while in an Austra you have a man still, in a way escaping to space and leaving earth and its relationships there behind, but traveling to space too, in a way find his humanity. So it's interesting how many different stories will be able to get about space, expressions and space in the coming years. Yeah, I do think those films with aged, even though it like one of them not more than the other, with first time being about escaping humanity by going to space, music space in that way, and Adustra being quite reverse. Right it's someone who is disconnected from from humanity, artist, from his father, and who is going to space to find that back, to reconnect with humanity. And in that sense that kind of mirror images of one another. And I think this dualism between going to space to connect face to last time with two thousand and one and so they are. Is this a day of going to space to explore the big questions, versus going to space to discover something about ourselves and putting humans into this kind of position, be that from the environment around them or be that with experiences they come across, and I think we've seen this dualism in the films we discuss today, though there are, of course, overlaps and I think that these kind of films, these types of experiences, these types of questions, be they profound or be day more silly and empty, empty handed, creating new kinds of action experiences. We will...

...keep seeing them. Be there from the US, be there from China. Russia put out at least two solid biopics just last a kid. I think just the fact that more and more countries are getting in on this again, like we talked about the equery xp one, which was checked and we if solid in there. I'm sure we are talked about test pilot pricks, which is Polish. So the fact that this is picking up as much that this is the fact that China is on the brink of a new space race with the US, at the fact that US is hyping this up again, I think that will get so many more stories about space, that so much more imagination will be poured into space and that we will quite possibly even get experiences that they have not yet seen. I think with highlife we got one of those experiences. We got this stripped back minimalism that we're not used to experiencing in in a sci Fi. So what the future holds is unknown, and just as these films explore space, we will continue to explore them. Thank you for listening and join us again soon. You have been listening to talking images, the official PODCAST OF ICM FORUMCOM.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (54)