I finally caught up on the short-lived but much-loved Firefly TV series a couple of months ago, which made me want to visit an alternate universe where the show was allowed to run for as long as its creator Joss Whedon had intended. In the absence of a working interdimensional portal, I had to do with this 2005 feature film, which is a much better farewell than the dizzyingly abrupt ending of the TV series.
I wanted to watch this movie for ages and I finally did it. This love letter to the 70s glam rock, very loosely inspired by David Bowie, is rather scattered and uneven, but at the very least it offers heaps more fun and weirdness than your average musical biopic.
After watching Solaris, last Thursday friend and I were back at the Astor Theatre for more of Andrei Tarkovsky‘s meditative, arty, defiantly slow sci-fi. I love the story I read where, upon hearing from the officials at the State Committee for Cinematography that the film was too slow and dull, Tarkovsky’s reply was that the film “needs to be slower and duller at the start so that the viewers who walked into the wrong theatre have time to leave before the main action starts”.
Well that’s another 80s Movie I’ve Never Seen off my list. Watching popular films from decades ago for the first time can be a hit-and-miss experience (sorry Flashdance but I can’t see what everyone saw in you), but Dirty Dancing I thought had undeniable charm and appeal that goes beyond mere nostalgia and hype.
They’re showing a couple of Andrei Tarkovsky films at the Astor Theatre this month, so friend and I went to see this 1972 Soviet sci-fi classic. The pitch I made to my friend was, are you up for some slow and boring Russian sci-fi, an in-joke as we both appreciate slow-paced movies that are more about submerging yourself rather than going on a thrill ride. Solaris is definitely not for everybody and I saw a couple of walkouts in the cinema, but if you can surrender to its glacial pacing and penchant for ambiguity, it’s a rewarding experience and leaves you with much to think about.
After watching (and loving) the anime film, I thought I’d check out this recent Hollywood remake with Scarlett Johansson. It was pretty much what I had expected: watchable with a few arresting visual moments and a decent lead performance, but all in all a dumbed down and hollow take on the original.
I’m not the biggest anime fan in the world, but if you have any appreciation for science fiction, visual artistry and films that create a unique atmosphere, it’s impossible not to be impressed by this 1995 cyber-tech thriller.