Friday, June 10, 2011

SCI-FI FRI ~ Moon & Duncan Jones, Son of Bowie

The 2009 indie sci-fi movie Moon was co-written and directed by Duncan Jones, who, I found out after watching the DVD, is none other than son of David Bowie. (Notes on astrology later in the post.)

This movie has echoes of 2001 A Space Odyssey, and a few other sci fi movies of the 1970s and 80s. It's difficult to describe the storyline without giving too much away, but the general scenario is this:

At an undisclosed period in the future the world's energy problems have been solved. Sufficient energy is being produced by fusion reactors using helium-3 as fuel. Helium-3 is plentiful on the surface of the Moon. A corporation has set up shop on the far side of the Moon, collecting helium-3 from surface dust, using automated harvesters, then sending it back to Earth.

A lone human operative is necessary to collect the containers of helium-3, to put them in transit. Sam Bell, played with consummate skill by Sam Rockwell, is such an operative. As the movie opens he is working the last few weeks of a 3-year stint. He will have needed similar character traits to those of old-time lighthouse-keepers to withstand the lonely years.

In the base station, all-white environment, very reminiscent of the backdrops in 2001, Sam's only companion is a robot called GERTY, with the voice of Kevin Spacey. More echoes of 2001 and HAL. GERTY is a deal more friendly-seeming than HAL ever was, but it's left to the audience to decide whether this is simply another tool of manipulation used by the corporation. Sam receives regular video messages from his wife and young daughter, who wait for his return to Earth.

On one of his trips onto the Moon's surface to collect a filled cannister, while feeling unwell, he accidentally crashes his buggy into the harvester and passes out. When he recovers consciousness he's back at the base with GERTY tending him, telling him he has sustained a head injury.

To take the storyline beyond this point would involve giving away too much. Should a passing reader wish to know the rest it's available elsewhere on line via a click of the fingers on Google search box.

Sufficient to say that the movie becomes far more thought-provoking than one could possibly imagine from what I've revealed. The ending is satisfying. But you need to be quick to catch (what we heard as) the most subtle element of it.

What I got from Moon, along with an enjoyable evening's viewing, isn't mentioned in any review I've seen: the frightening level of power held by "the corporation" at that point in the future. Perhaps Duncan Jones didn't have this particular point in mind when writing the story, back in the UK some years ago. Here in the USA, watching the movie in 2011, warning signals were flashing, for me. Give a corporation an inch and they'll take a yard. They already have taken several yards here in the USA! Life often tends to imitate art.

Duncan Jones' latest movie, a big budget affair, Source Code has been a quite different experience for him from the experience of making his indie movie Moon. He is reported to have said that making Moon and Source Code was "like the difference between driving a speedboat and captaining a oil rig". He has another sci-fi movie in mind for his next project - something along the lines of the classic Blade Runner.

Duncan Jones then - son of David Bowie and first wife Mary Angela (Angie) Barnett. Does his natal chart reflect his draw to sci-fi, and making movies?

He was born on 30 May 1971 in Beckenham Hospital, South London, according to Wikipedia.

Chart set for 12 noon as time of birth isn't known. Moon would be in mid to late Leo whatever time of birth, but ascendant remains completely unknown.

The best reflection of Duncan Jones' draw to science fiction lies in the lovely Grand Trine in Air, shown in the diagram above. It links, by a circuit of harmonious trines, his Gemini Sun (communication)/Mars in Aquarius (drive, energy, futuristic)/Uranus in Libra (invention, futuristic, art, balance).

Film in astrology connects to Neptune. In Jones' natal chart Neptune is tightly conjunct Jupiter, and Jupiter represents publication and expansion. The conjoined planets are in Sagittarius, sign ruled by Jupiter, endowing an extra boost to its meaning. The conjoined pair lay in opposition to Gemini Sun, providing balance between Jones' obvious writing skills (Moon's storyline was his idea), his imagination, and his draw to film and publication.


James Higham said...

For a moment, I thought this was actually happening.

Twilight said...

James ~~~ the bit about corporations is - on a certain scale. The scale of it in the movie is far greater though, and pretty scary! To explain in full would be a spoiler (give too much away.)

Kaleymorris said...

You've piqued my interest. I ordered it up from Netflix.

Wisewebwoman said...

On my list T, it has all the elements of a great story.

Twilight said...

Kaleymorris & WWW ~~~~

Hope y'all enjoy!

anyjazz said...

One of the better low budget films I have seen. Logical and possible.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~~~ All too possible !