Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thoughts about "District 9"

  • At the end of the film, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit ascend into the sky, promising an imminent return to render judgement upon humanity.

    The older I get, the more annoyed I get about the bizarre fascination that science fiction filmmakers have for inserting Christological implications into their films. Originally, the point of science fiction was presumably to enable a general audience to explore ideas without the accumulated baggage of Western religious thought. That's why it was called science fiction: the reader is supposed to be expected to depart from the recieved dogmas and to respect new ideas on their merits. If our science fiction just ends up taking us to the same old apocalyptic end-game that we've been pondering for the last two thousand years, then why bother writing it or reading it or thinking about it?

  • The other notable element of the film is yet another highly ironic, gross-out physical transformation. Mistreat the aliens badly enough and *you* start turning into an alien. Ha ha!

    Again, the more of these that I watch, the more tedious and boring they get. The problem is that the producers and directors who plot these things out assume that the irony sells the effect, so causal explanation is meaningless. In real science fiction, it is the causal explanation that sells the effect and the irony is meaningless.

  • The rest of the film is essentially cartoon characters fighting each other over who gets to have the cartoon guns that never run out of ammo.

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