Tag Archives: movies

Interstellar: A Tribute to 2001: A Space Odyssey?

Interstellar

Spoiler Warning

Following Gravity last year, Interstellar, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, is another major science-fiction film. Unlike the personal struggle in Gravity, however, Interstellar is of an epic scale. It concerns with the survival of the entire human race, and explores scientific concepts as deep as relativity, worm hole and black holes. No major scientific-fiction film has dared to embark on such an ambitious project since Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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2001: A Space Odyssey: A Film of Music and Mysticism

2001 A Space Odyssey screenshot 1920x1080 (14)

2001: A Space Odyssey is an enigmatic film. It is a science – fiction film that meticulously portrayed a scientifically accurate picture of the space but is also puzzle riddled with many mystic symbols. It starts as a conventional story of space exploration but ends with a mysterious spirit approaching the Earth. It is a film with so many conflicting notions, that I was stupefied at the end of the screening. In Stanley Kubrick’s own ironic terms, this film is a ‘mythological documentary’ or a ‘controlled dream’.

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Nosferatu (1922) – A German Expressionism Classic

The Shadow of Nosferatu Climbing Up the Stairs to Ellen's Room

The Shadow of Nosferatu Climbing Up the Stairs to Ellen’s Room

I was never a film connoisseur but the scene in The Artist where Valentin lifted blankets in Peppy ‘s mansion and was shocked to learn it was Peppy who purchased his auctioned effects has left a deep impression in me. Against the backdrop of a flood of light from the door, Valentin cast a long shadow on every objects he found, in his horror, to have belonged to him, including his self – portrait and the three wise monkeys clock. This use of light, shadow and familiar objects, I later found out, is known as German Expressionism.

Nosferatu is a classic German Expressionist movie directed by F.W. Murnau in 1922. The film is created when the new Weimar Republic just survived the Kapp Putsch in 1920 that paralyzed Berlin and was waiting to see Hitler’s Munich Putsch in 1923. In this politically unstable period, conspiracies were rampant. It was no surprise that many horror films like Faust or Dr. Mabuse at the time featured an evil conspirator who contrived for domination.

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Faust (1926) – F. W. Murnau’s Last German Movie

Faust (1926) - F. W. Murnau, Emil Jannings

Faust (1926) is F. W. Murnau last German movie before he moved to Hollywood for good. It was made between the famous Nosferatu, the horror masterpiece that defines the genre, and Sunrise, the last masterpiece of the silent era. It is a loose adaptation of Goethe’s play, which is also based on several variation of this classic German folklore about a man signing off his soul to the devil in exchange for unlimited knowledge and earthly pleasure in his lifetime.
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