Monday, July 13, 2009

DJG / Moon

Moon * * * * ½
Directed by: Duncan Jones / 2009

Space Oddity…

I admire when children can step from the shadow of iconic parents to create a name on their own. In the case of director Duncan Jones, he literally created a new name. Born Zowie Bowie to none other than shape-shifting Ziggy Stardust himself, you can imagine the type of shadow or moon rock he may have felt under. Especially with a name like that, years before it became a name game for celebrities to make their children typographic tabloid bait. I think it’s a lot easier for successful musicians to bare successful musician offspring than it is in other career choices. Sometimes it’s because of whom Mom or Dad is, but every now and then they tap into their own (Jeff Buckley and Jakob Dylan come to mind). Young Bowie may have chosen film, though Bowie senior is no stranger to the path. Not to mention his impressive body of music carries more theatrics, dimension, dynamics and unique narrative than most movie makers. It’s no wonder that Duncan Jones shows a deft hand at orchestrating film the way he has with “Moon”, his feature debut at the age of 38. “Moon” is one of the best sci-fi films to come along in a while and I find Jones pouring as much of his own identity and upbringing into it as his father does in music, creating art with unique immediacy that you can’t wait to tap again or into another. Borrowing from some of the best in ‘60s-‘70s sci-fi (you’ll figure it out), “Moon” uses just enough of today’s modern trickery to bring to life something that isn’t a clone, but has a brain and heart to call home. It also never gets too far ahead of itself or too outlandish, at least for sci-fi. Actor Sam Rockwell shines as pretty much the solo pilot of the film as his Sam Bell nears the end of an isolated 3 year contract at a station on the moon. Bell begins to find out more about his self than you’d want to in that type of situation as he is two weeks shy of going home and wants nothing more to do so. Rockwell has a thick resume of fantastic performances, but hopefully “Moon” will finally get him due respect, maybe even an Oscar nomination. Just like his talented director he’s given a chance to showcase many sides and make a name for himself. -djg

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