not that we may see the stars, but that the stars may see us

“Interstellar”: It’s not often (the only other example I can think of is Cloud Atlas) that a film manages to feel like a thick ol’ novel, willing to take on massive generation-shifting relativity subplots and the continuation of the human species, and use them as its subject matter rather than background fluff for gunfights, chases and an inevitable unconvincing romance.
Unfortunately, it’s not a very well edited novel. The essential central plot isn’t too bad but there are far too many plotholes, some minor (how is it their dinky li’l SpaceShipThree shuttles need a Saturn V knockoff to clear Earth but can SSTO out of 1.3G?), some glaring (I suspect the “it’s the Oklahoma panhandle in ’34, but everywhere, forever, and somehow this hasn’t led to universal war” setup was handled so vaguely because any more details would make it even more pathetically unconvincing) and some so over the top you can’t even be bothered to argue (really though, what the zog happened at the end?)

However, despite being absurdly long it didn’t outstay its welcome, and it was one of those rare films which actually drew me in to the fiction and got me emotionally involved. Probably because the soul-sucking, imagination-torturing terror of space travel, with limitless nothingness in every direction, is what got me into science fiction in the first place, and this has that in spades.

Good performance from Jessica Chastain, OK from the McConaissance and Doe-Eyes Hathaway, hardly feels like anyone else was in it.

The place with the waves was such a massive missed opportunity to have a melancholy, long withdrawing roar for minutes (/years), though.

…that “we don’t need engineers, we need farmers” line is still getting on my tits. All modern farming – all agriculture at a higher form than hardscrabble subsistence – relies on some form of engineering, from mile-long centre-pivot monstrosities fed by dams beyond the horizon right down to steel ploughshares and harness to haul them. Engineers have been bringing water to the dry land since at least the time of the second Scorpion King (and look up qanats, they’re awesome). A farmer without engineering is a fucking forager.

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