THE LAST PLACE YOU’D EVER EXPECT TO FIND YOURSELF.
Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is about to end his three-year stint at a helium-3-harvesting plant on the moon, when strange things begin to happen at the lunar station. The directing debut of Duncan Jones is a bit of science fiction in the mold of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Solaris, which might seem fitting for the son of David Bowie, who once sang of life on Mars. Meticulously researched, the film manages to portray the moon in a realistic way despite the low budget; the focus is on the question of one’s identity, impressively illustrated by Rockwell’s multilayered performance. A haunting and ultimately touching depiction of different kinds of wastelands.
2009-U.S. 97 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Stuart Fenegan, Trudie Styler. Directed by Duncan Jones. Screenplay: Nathan Parker. Cast: Sam Rockwell (Sam Bell), Dominique McElligott (Tess Bell), Kaya Scodelario (Eve). Voice of Kevin Spacey.
Last word: “There’s a depth to the look that you get with models that you just can’t get with CGI. It’s about the detail that you just wouldn’t think to put in. We put together a team of old-timers at Shepperton, including one lovely old feller who’d worked on the original R2-D2. And, although the film’s a hybrid look with a contemporary post-production layer on top of the stuff we shot in-camera, the model work is a form of craftsmanship which isn’t being passed on. These old chaps don’t get much opportunity to work any more, and their knowledge isn’t being transmitted. If we ever want to do this again in the future, we’re going to have to relearn a lot of these techniques.” (Jones, Time Out)