I. Loneliness #4 (Other People’s Letters) — Arcade Fire
“So answer me this, and be honest now: Isn’t that just trading out one sickness for another?”
II. To the Edge of the Earth — Michael Nyman
“It’s like this…Icarus made wings out of wax to escape a prison. But when he was outside for the first time in years there was the sun hanging up in the skye above him and he thought it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. He flew closer and closer and his wings started to melt, but he didn’t give a good goddamn. He kept flying up until he couldn’t fly anymore, and his eyes were probably burning and his skin was probably burning, but he still didn’t care. And then his wings melted all the way and he fell miles and miles into the ocean and brained himself on a rock, that poor stupid asshole. And I’ll tell you what: I’m no better. I’m no fucking better.”
III: The Gentle Hum of Anxiety — Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
“You piss me off so God damn much. Jesus Roosevelt Christ. I’ve got your number, you reckless fucking dumbass.”
IV: Journey to the Line — Hans Zimmer
“Got his patch sewn on my left arm and everything. And I’ll wear it too, until the day I die.”
V: The North Remembers — Ramin Djawadi
“You’d be heaven for anyone, but you’re especially heaven for a sinner like me.”
VI: The Rest of My Life — Hans Zimmer, The Magnificent Six, Pharrell Williams & Johnny Marr
“The God’s honest truth is that I ain’t ever gonna love again. She your true north. I know what that means because you’re mine.”
VII: S.T.A.Y. — Hans Zimmer
“I’m not worth much, I damn well know that, but I’ll ask you anyway: Stay for me. If you leave me alone in this world I’ll turn into something terrible. I’ll turn into the nasty creature that’s growing inside me. This war, it’ll swallow me whole.”
VIII: And Just Like That — Abel Korzeniowski
“But then I put my face in your hair and thanked God it was him and not you. I thought, if He had to take someone, at least it wasn’t you. It was the worst thing I ever thought but it’s true.”
IX: In Noctem — Nicholas Hooper
“Tell you something. Tell you another secret, because this one, this one I won’t ever tell, not the God, not to a priest, and sure as hell not to you. In that base we burned the bodies in a furnace. I hadn’t eaten in days. The truth is simple. The smell made me hungry.”
X: The End of Childhood — Dario Marianelli
“Bone of my bones. Were you taken from my rib? You must have been, or maybe I was made from yours. And God damn, I want it. I want back inside you…. I used to love you so sweet, the way kids love, the way I was supposed to. Then it turned greedy and true. If theres a Heaven thats fit for me it’d be all your pale skin under my hands for the rest of eternity. I wouldn’t want anything else. Not food or drink or sleep. Just my hands on you and your sweet love-sounds.”
XI: Some Other Place — Arcade Fire
“So how long have I loved you for? Womb to tomb, sweetheart. Since before I was even here at all. I get it now, you understand. Your ma was right. It really is a stupid question.”
XII: One Paticular Moment — Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
“Never told another soul this, and I guess I never will, but I think of that orange, that one evening every single time when I’m sure I’m about to snuff it for real. Thought about it in my first firefight and I thought about it when the Germans stuck me full of needles and sliced up the soles of my feet. And when I was shot the other day and so sure it was over — good-bye, motherfuckers, I’m finally going back home — I wasn’t all that scared. In that one minute it was fine — everything was alright I bought an orange. You smiled at me. And Jesus Christ, it was fantastic.”
XIII: Together We Will Live Forever — Clint Mansell
“I won’t be in the history books; that’s for you. But I loved you first. As long as they get that right, I don’t care what they say.”
This is for the KakaSaku Music Prompts Challenge that’s not really a challenge!
The song my spinner landed on was S.T.A.Y by Hans Zimmer, and the song always makes me feel like I’ve lost someone every time I listen to it. So, of course, this will be angsty because, well, it’s me. But I promise there’s a happy ending.
I also cheated (i know, I’m terrible) and listened to M83′s Oblivion a lot. You’ll find that song under my music tag.
Summary: I would choose you in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I would find you and I would choose you.
If someone were to ask Sakura when she thought everything
had gone wrong, she’d chuckle grimly and say: April 1st, seven years
after the war, four days after her twenty-fourth birthday.
She’d tell them that it had been a muggy day heavy with the
promise of more rain—prominent enough that even she with her decidedly normal
olfactory senses could smell it. But it had been the first day of Spring, seven
promising years since the eve of the Alliance’s victory, and her team had
decided to have a celebratory training session.
Sakura remembers because that was the day Kakashi had
brought out his dogs, despite knowing that it would rain, and she had
innocuously complained about the wet dog smell that would inevitably follow
them until they bathed.
She didn’t really mind the smell, not really, and she
supposed that Kakashi knew that because he had only patted her head and said Essence of Wet Dog is in now, Sakura-chan.
How he knew what was in fashion back then, to this day, Sakura doesn’t know.
She’d say that it was a normal day as far as the rag-tagged
Team 7 went, and there was no reason to be wary of anything other than the
usual injuries that came from being on a team with such power houses—demigods,
really. As with all other ninja activities, training sessions had their moments
of danger, but one does not become a shinobi without knowing how to manage
risks and how to prevent life threatening injuries in friendly spars.
Despite being ninjas with positive control of that precious
life energy called chakra, they were still—for
all sense and purposes—human. Unless, of course, you were Naruto or Sasuke, but
Sakura had accepted long ago that those two would die of something completely
arbitrarily extraterrestrial; because if a goddess
couldn’t kill them, then what hope did they as mere mortals have?
a playlist to help combat writers block with some chill, some lyrical, soundtracks, and everything else in between. for all the writers who can’t seem to get the story going any further. (listen)
i. Stillthe japanese house ii. the End of All Things Panic! at the Disco iii. S.T.A.Y. Hans Zimmer iv. You the 1975 v.Royals lorde vi.Coffee Sylvan Esso vii.Rather Be Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne viii.Eyes Shut Years & Years ix. Start a Riot Banners x.Overjoyed Bastille xi. Arcadia The Kite String Tangle xii.Lay Me Down Sam Smith xiii.Fly Ludovico Einaudi xiv. Time Hans Zimmer xv.What It Is Kodaline
I spent 3 nights taking pictures of the Moon at very large magnifications in order to stitch together an incredibly detailed mosaic. Decided to animate the final image so you can appreciate the views you can get from a simple telescope!
Alright, alright, alright. Reviewing a film such as Interstellar is a monumentally difficult task. It says a lot about a motion picture when you’re so utterly speechless and at a total loss for words to describe what you’ve just seen. That being said Interstellar was one my most anticipated films of 2014, and when I saw it last weekend I was not disappointed. It was a utterly spell-binding film. I decided since then to gather my thoughts in this review of sorts, of which I’ve kept the first half spoiler-free. That being said, do read on at your own discretion, as spoiler tendencies will vary from person to person. I am going to write spoilers, particularly about the ending, but only after a jump in the text. With that out of the way, let’s begin!
I suppose I can expand upon this summary I’ve come up with.
Interstellar is Christopher Nolan’s beautifully poetic love letter to the human ideals of exploration, hope, sacrifice, and love, in a film that’s replete with stunning visuals, phenomenal acting, and an intelligent story line which triumphs despite a slightly clunky second act.
Interstellar of course is Nolan’s first film since finishing up his Dark Knight trilogy with the The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. It’s scripted by himself and his brother Jonathan, who initially wrote it as a project for Steven Spielberg, but was revamped when Spielberg departed the project and Nolan came on board. It’s very much based on the work of Caltech theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, noted for his work on black holes and astrophysics, who aided the production crew and was credited as an executive producer.
The premise is basically that at some point in the near future, Earth has been ravaged by blight. Numerous crops have failed, with only corn remaining, and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Matthew McConaughey’s character, Cooper, is a widowed Air Force pilot turned farmer, who raises his two young children Tom (Timothee Chalamet) and Murph (Mackenzie Foy) with his father-in-law Donald (John Lithgow). When Cooper and Murph stumble upon a secret NASA facility, they meet Dr. Brand (Michael Caine) and his daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway) who inform Cooper that they have discovered a gravitational anomaly near Saturn, which is in fact a wormhole which leads to an entirely different galaxy full of potentially habitable worlds for humanity to migrate to and start afresh. Brand convinces Cooper to lead an expedition along with Amelia and two other scientists (played by Wes Bentley and David Gyasi), a sarcastic robot TARS, (voiced by Bill Irwin) and another more reserved one, CASE, (voiced by Josh Stewart). Although Cooper accepts, he must face the fact that due to the nature of interstellar travel, it could take decades for him to see his family again, something Murph does not take particularly well.
That’s all that can really be said about the plot without going into full-blown spoiler territory, but I can safely say that what follows is a thought-provoking and visually arresting odyssey into the far reaches of the cosmos but is grounded in its transcendent otherworldliness in the love story between a father and the family he leaves far behind.
You really don’t need me to tell you how utterly brilliant the special effects are. You’ve probably seen bits of it in the TV spots and trailers, but they absolutely live up to - and exceed- the hype. Nolan, infamous in the industry for having a reputation as a traditional director, (who amongst other things eschews shooting in digital in favor or film and relying as much as possible on practical effects) incredibly managed to shoot a film of such massive scale without the usage of green screen. All the spacecraft were physical models, so nothing really looked cartoony and it conveyed a sense of actually *being* inside the film. It was a refreshing change in an era of cinema that’s dominated by special effects, and I’m looking forward to what J.J. Abrams does with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a film that similarly utilizes many practical effects. That being said, when the film does use CGI (inevitably for a movie that takes place in space) it’s jaw-dropping. Particular highlights for me would be the initial trip through the wormhole, an amazing, eye-opening, slightly trippy journey that really made you feel as though you were in the spacecraft. Another would be how the black hole, Gargantua, was realized on screen. It is apparently the most accurate depiction of a black hole yet, and the effects crew worked directly with Thorne, using his own equations, to create this massive, spinning illuminated disc. I was awestruck throughout this sequence. The alien worlds encountered, the water world and ice planet were a spectacle to behold in their terrifying beauty. A tip of the hat to cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema and production designer Nathan Crowley. Oscar-worthy stuff. In light of all this, and the fact that much of the film was itself shot with IMAX cameras, I’d have to say IMAX is the only proper way to enjoy Interstellar, so do go for that option if you can. It’s definitely worth the slightly more expensive cost of admission.
Comparisons with Stanley Kubrick’s seminal 2001: A Space Odyssey, are inevitable. Nolan hasn’t been shy to describe the influence 2001 has had on his career, and there are a number of homages throughout the film which harken back to Kubrick. Pre-release hype was dubbing Interstellar “this generation’s 2001” or “the next 2001” and some even “better than 2001”. In retrospect it was probably the hype which led to Interstellar’s rather mixed and decisive reception at the box office, but in my view I do think it’s a worthy spiritual successor. And it’s also worth noting that 2001 received a similarly frosty reception when it was first released, but went on to become a cult classic that is now revered as one of the finest films of all time. Perhaps Interstellar will age like a fine wine, and people will appreciate it more as the years go by. It just seems like that sort of movie.
As with all his previous films, Nolan surrounded himself with a phenomenally talented cast. There were no less than 5 Oscar winners and/or nominees, and I really couldn’t find fault with the principal cast. Matthew McConaughey made for a compelling protagonist, and continued his amazing run of form on the back of performances in True Detective and Dallas Buyers Club. As Nolan described, they were looking for a “cowboy” astronaut in the mould of famous American pioneers like Chuck Yeager and Neil Armstrong, and McConaughey pulled it off so well, I simply can’t imagine anyone better in the role. Jessica Chastain was similarly brilliant, with a very nuanced performance. And while I had a few minor complaints about the motivations of Anne Hathaway’s character, there’s no doubt she too was marvelous and played off McConaughey quite well. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the actress who played the young Murph, Mackenzie Foy, who had some pretty emotionally charged sequences with McConaughey early in the film, and pulled them off remarkably well for a child actress. And as always, it was lovely seeing Michael Caine, it what is now his sixth collaboration with Nolan. Bill Irwin injects some well-needed comic relief into proceedings in a turn as talkative monolithic robot TARS (what a legend he is). A fairly well-known Hollywood star also pops up in Interstellar’s second act in an extended cameo, though I’ll get to him in the spoiler portion of this review.
Hans Zimmer again does not disappoint. The score for Interstellar is markedly different from Zimmer’s previous one, with a significantly less number of bombastic BRAAAAAAAAMs and more ethereal, celestial motifs played with a church organ. The main theme of the film, the one heard in the very first teaser trailer, is prominent throughout, and the different variations are all so beautiful despite their similarities. It’s a simple 3-4 note theme, just like “Time” from Inception, and in my opinion, is up with the very best of Zimmer’s work. There were however, a few occasions where the loud background music would make it hard to comprehend the dialogue spoken by the actors, especially with the dulcet Southern drawl of Matthew McConaughey in the mix.
But in my opinion, the good far outweighs the bad. I can’t guarantee that you’ll love Interstellar. Reviews are after all completely subjective, and everybody’s going to take something different from it. I can only say that if you’re on the fence, you should go for it, if only for the special effects. Go for the breathtaking effects, and S.T.A.Y (folks who’ve seen the film will get this reference) for the incredibly tear-jerking emotional story that’s at the center of this stunning journey through time and space. Here I am a week later, writing this review still utterly in awe of what I saw. This is one of the films that really stick with you. I’m dying to get it on Blu-ray to watch it again. And again. And again. And probably again.
Spoiler section coming up! Thanks for reading if you’re leaving now.
// Lunar Dreams - James Horner // S.T.A.Y. - Hans Zimmer // Last Time I Saw U - Sublab // Fjarlægur - Oskar Schuster // No Time For Caution - Hans Zimmer // Arrival To Earth - Steve Jablonsky // Flow Like Water - James Newton Howard // Starmoods - Jonn Serrie // Inertia - Carbon Based Lifeforms // In The Eye Of Noche - Steve Roach //