Opening 15 Jul 2010
In this quiet science fiction film, Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) has been living all alone on the back, dark side of the moon for almost three years. He works for the Sarang energy company which, under his supervision, mines helium-3 and transports it to earth as a source of energy. His only companion is a R2-D2-like computer named Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey). Although Gerty is a terrific conversationalist, obviously, Sam is lonely, and he looks forward to his return to the U.S. where he will be reunited with his wife Tess and their small daughter Eve (whom he knows only from photos). Unfortunately, he has an accident while driving his bumpy vehicle along the moon’s surface to the energy plant and becomes unconscious. Tended by Gerty, he wakes up back at the base, very surprised to find a guest: a clone of himself. From this point he has reason to distrust his bosses and their intentions with him; he searches for a way out.
This is an amazing film for different reasons. Sam Rockwell plays dual – perhaps even triple – roles; the film is his own one-man show, and he is excellent. Director Duncan Jones has won many prizes for Moon, including the BAFTA (British Oscar) for best director of a first film. Jones said present-day science fiction films are more about the machines and less about normal people. He regretted the lack of philosophical themes no longer found in today’s films. Therefore, true to one of his favorite’s, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, he aimed to return to an old-fashioned science fiction style in Moon. With a small budget he filmed in a studio for 33 days; I could imagine the story being turned into a stage play. Scientists tell us that helium-3 does exist on the moon, and one spaceship full would provide a year’s supply of energy to earth. Watch for more work from this talented director, who definitely does not need to hide behind his famous father: David Bowie. (Becky Tan)