Monday, November 10, 2014

Interesting Concepts Interspersed into Stellar Imagery

Interstellar is a movie I just can't wrap my head around completely. It is film that I just can't sum up into a cohesive synopsis. So I won't attempt to. Instead I'll describe the aspects of it that I can more or less describe.

Probable spoilers ahead.


Einstein's twin paradox would make for a very good dramatic story. One twin stays on Earth. The other twin travels on a spaceship zooming at speeds approaching the speed of light. Then after the other twin's journey to space, he travels back and meets the twin who stayed on Earth. The space twin gets does not get older, the Earth twin ages very much. Space twin is still on his twenties. Earth twin is on his sixties or even older.

Make it a story about a father and his much loved, spoiled daughter. Make it a story of abandonment, rejection, solitude. This concept alone would make a very touching movie. (An honest, typical drama in the backdrop of a scientific concept similar to movies like "Another Earth".)

The realization that 20 to 30 years have passed by on Earth. The daughter has aged, the father stayed young.  The realization that the father missed a lot. Then the eventual reunion of the father and the daughter, now on her deathbed as an old woman, the father on the bedside.


The concept of gods as our highly advanced descendants have long been explored in many stories of fiction. Our future selves giving "tips", "clues" or breadcrumbs as to what path our present selves should take. I was immediately reminded of the movie "Contact". Who are the aliens who sent the blueprints to Earth? Could they be our future selves, discovering more advanced technology and sharing this knowledge to the primitive humans?

In "2001:A Space Odyssey" a construct arrives at our most primitive ancestors, the apes, and gave them that gift of knowledge. That's the very needed boost for them to evolve. To become the creature that would give them that gift. Ouroborous. It is a very mind-boggling paradox just like Einstein's twins.

We could look back in our history and search for advanced technology; Pyramids, Stonehenge, Moai. Or look into old religions and their miracles, Noah's Ark, Buddha's Enlightenment, Christ's resurrection and like that weird-haired guy from History channel, we would proclaim "Aliens!". Or ancient astronauts. Or our children in the far future.


Astronauts world-jumping in space on a special mission. I heard of the concept in the the Cartoon series Ulysses, where a group of space travelers journey in space for some important mission.

Step it up by adding wormholes into the mix. Instant teleport device to another universe. Sort of like "Sliders" but in space. Or Star Trek. Or Stargate.


Finally, a mission to find a new home to Earth when the planet is diagnosed dying. Stories like "Space Battleship Yamato 2199", "Wall-E".


All these and more are the concepts that Christopher Nolan juggled in his latest film, "Interstellar". All challenging concepts, not usually scene in mainstream cinema especially on blockbuster billed movies.


Now let me tell you something about the scenes. A world covered with knee deep oceans and mountain-high waves. A world covered in snow with frozen clouds hanging in the atmosphere like stalactites. A spherical wormhole that reflects all space around it like a magical, heavenly mirror. A giant black hole swallowing light all around it forming a ring of light around a dark, round abscence.

An amazing docking procedure with both the station and the capsule rotating in sync as they fall into the gravitational grasp of the black hole. A breathtaking view of the spaceship as it floats silently in space. An eternally recursive image of a bedroom as a 5-dimensional representation of our existential plane. And finally, a surprisingly funny robot transforming into  rotating, speeding wheel almost instantaneously to save another crew.

Watching in IMAX is probably the best way to go.


And more:
 - All our food soon becomes dust.
 - Governments just gave up on fighting and wars.
 - NASA is now defunct.
 - Higher education is unnecessary. People just need food.
 - Gravity as a means of communication.
 - And many more that flew over my head.

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