Recommended reading: WIRED briefly explores the science behind Interstellar

The one and only stargate: The black hole at the centre of Nolan’s latest, Interstellar

If for no other reason than its fully working model of a black hole (that required 800 terabytes of data to capture), Nolan’s Interstellar will undoubtedly secure a vaunted space in the realm of science-fiction (or is it now more appropriate to label it as science-fact?):

I am certainly looking forward to the scientific articles that Kip Thorne, the movie’s scientific consultant, is set to write after seeing the fruit of thirty years of work modeled before his keen and scrutinizing eyes. Whether I’ll understand any of it is a different subject to anticipate.

Listening to Ligeti in the Godzilla Teaser

When classical music is associated with popular entertainment, the result is usually to trivialize it (who can listen to the “William Tell Overture” without thinking of the Lone Ranger?). Kubrick’s film is almost unique in enhancing the music by its association with his images.

—Roger Ebert, in his review of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

So the latest trailer for Gareth Edwards forthcoming Godzilla reboot has arrived, and so we come to the necessary discussion.

I’ll dispense with the obvious: the teaser is indeed tantalizing, and intriguing to say the least. And since I’m often intrigued in saying more than most, I thought I might comment on the use of music in the teaser. In lieu of a traditional discussion and dissection of the trailer (because really, what is the bloody point in doing that? Just watch the damn thing), I thought I might talk more specifically about that track underscoring our first tenebrous glimpse of the titular creature.

For those few curious individuals who didn’t already know (or yet to google it) the music is György Ligeti’s “Requiem”. You may remember it from its most famous usage in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey as the leitmotif for the enigmatic and alien monoliths at the core of the film’s mysterious story. Given this association, it seems only fitting that the makers of the Godzilla teaser would trade on the Kubrick allusion to underscore the introduction of modern audiences to a new evolution of the Godzilla franchise. Though it may seem that the teaser borrows merely on the allusion to Kubrick, perhaps it also draws meaning from Ligeti’s own work. Continue reading

Something to read: Fascinating article about the aliens of Kubrick’s “2001”

As an ardent fanatic of Stanley Kubrick’s seminal sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey, I knew that Kubrick had toyed with the idea of including aliens, but I had little knowledge of the actual designs that Kubrick was toying with for the film, and which were ultimately abandoned when writer Arthur C. Clark (or was it Sagan? Or Kubrick? Nobody is quite certain anymore) came up with the rather bold suggestion not to show the aliens. In the process, they created one of the most alluring and allusive screen presences (or lack thereof) in science-fiction history, and would give critics fuel for decades to come regarding why it’s better not to show aliens (Spielberg, they were talking to you, unfortunately… twice).

The article below is meticulously researched and without being overwhelming nonetheless expertly documents those years of design and research, in the process capturing an intriguing bit of behind the scenes wonder about a film that still continues to provide intellectual riches 45 years on. Looking at some of the designs makes me restlessly hopeful that Warner Brothers will finally approve Douglas Trumbull’s long gestating documentary about the film, Beyond the Infinite: The Making of a Masterpiece (see the embedded video below).

Anyway, after you check out the video, check out this link: