We can still be moved by pictures about them - uninvited aliens, making us tremble with horror and admiration. So the Canadian director Denis Villeneuve in one of the main premieres of this year - the film "Arrival" - spiced up the sci-fi about contacts with extraterrestrial civilizations with special ingredients: lyricism and philosophicality. The mass spectator from the tapes of this genre is waiting for impressive special effects and pictures of destruction caused by aliens. Therefore, the insufficiently high box office receipts for the drama Villeneuve can be considered quite understandable. However, as well as the admiration of critics: with the help of literary material from Ted Chan, original techniques and almost a solo performed by Amy Adams, the director managed to squeeze out so much suspense and drama,
Such an alignment cannot but rejoice, because it is extremely difficult to surprise the sophisticated viewer with stories about UFOs these days. Therefore, today LostFilm.INFO wants to recall other, moderately original and philosophical pictures about contact with strangers on Earth, which turned out not to be a mortal battle or world war, but something much more exciting.
Close Encounters of the Third Degree ( Steven Spielberg )
The very name of the legendary film on-all-genre-master Spielberg has long become a household word when it comes to what is "incredible, but true." Just like in the painting Villeneuve , unidentified flying objects suddenly appear here in different parts of the globe. Astronomers receive a mysterious melodic message of five sounds - a special key cipher to establish contact.
What is the third degree? Ufology will tell you, in which contacts with plates vary to varying degrees from one to six, from small to more serious. In the third degree, a person is threatened with an impact on the physical and mental state. We can say that here the creators of the picture for the first time in the cinema got close to UFOs from a scientific, not a sci-fi point of view, having considered in detail the possibility of interacting with aliens.
Already from the very name of the main director of the film and the release date (1977), one can guess that the viewer is waiting for the good old intellectual fiction created in those glorious times when the whipping up of darkness and pessimism were not at all the standard of taste, and aliens appeared not only in a menacing image enemies and invaders. It is also interesting that the idea of the film attracted another eminent director - the Frenchman Francois Truffaut, who played the role of an astronomer here. And the music of the magical John Williams, as always, namely the very melody of five notes, still no, no, and it still appears in the compositions of modern musicians.
Contact ( Robert Zemeckis )
Another classic, Robert Zemeckis , has taken this important brick in the overall construction of a smart sa-fi about contact with extraterrestrial intelligence. The main character of "Contact" Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) is a scientist who, due to her hard work and the will of a lucky chance, set off on an interstellar journey for the first contact with another mind.
The painting by Zemeckis is valuable, first of all, for what we in many ways love science fiction - social topicality and philosophicality. The director, based on the novel of the same name by Carl Sagan, focuses on fundamental problems and questions - the clash of religious and scientific worldviews, the attitude of various influential representatives of society (politicians, priests, scientists) to the possibility of intergalactic contact. Critics at one time appreciated the smart science fiction from Zemeckis : in the late 90s, alien sci-fi in cinema (compared to literature) needed rethinking and philosophizing. Also an important achievement of the film can be called the second place in the list of the most reliable sci-fi films not from someone there, but from NASA .
Alien ( Steven Spielberg )
Yes, again the almighty Spielberg made his way to the top. And if the tape about aliens that we have already mentioned is a project of a wide scope, then "Alien" is a more lyrical, chamber and metaphorical story. It is no coincidence that the first producer of Close Encounters Columbia Pictures rejected Melissa Mathison's script, calling ita "boring Disney" project ". True, then Spielberg turned not to House of Mouse , but to Universal . After the film received four Oscars and many other awards, as well as being awarded the title of the highest grossing project of the decade, the bosses of Columbia Pictures
However, it doesn't matter anymore. And without mentioning the high-profile titles and awards, "Alien" is one of the unique cases when the viewer becomes more and more sympathetic to another, possibly initially unpleasant creature, during watching. True, for this the operator often had to go down to the level of the child's eyes, because sometimes adults have to remind about the most important thing in this way, with the help of those whose eyes are not clouded by stereotypes and hypocrisy. This work of Spielberg , like his work in general, is a hymn to humanity and tolerance.
The Man Who Fell to Earth ( Nicholas Rogue )
On this occasion, remember another old film - with the incomparable David Bowie in the title role. The Briton Nicholas Rogue was inspired by the then popular novel by Walter Tevis. Its plot is quite simple: an alien arrives on Earth in order to save his planet, but earthly life fascinates him too much. British musician David Bowie was clearly created for this role as a dual in nature androgynous guest from another planet. It was after this first cinematic work of Bowie that the status of "the man who fell to Earth" was entrenched, which, it seems, he was.
The film was released in 1976, after the space compositions Bowie's Space Oddity , Life On Mars and the landmark album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars " , where he first appeared in the form of an androgynous alien. This image had to be supported visually, so the musician not only changed his image, but also asked the famous documentary filmmaker Donn Alan Pennebaker to film about Ziggy a roqumentary. Bowie himself considered this film a failure, as it was not a mysterious alien who appeared before the camera, but only David Robert Jones under his mask. From that moment on, the singer became interested in proposals for shooting in fiction films.
From the point of view of sai-fi, "The Man Who Fell to Earth" can be called one of the unique examples when the attention of a genre film is concentrated not on a dynamic plot or special effects, but on ideas and images. This is not a picture for a one-time superficial viewing, it would hardly fit into the mainstream of modern popular cinema. That makes returning to the meditative and atmospheric film Rogue even more valuable.
Signs ( M. Night Shyamalan )
Naturally, where a UFO and its passengers are involved, there is quite a place for mysticism and a good dose of horror. However, one name M. Night Shyamalan already evokes certain thoughts. In his filmography, Signs is unlikely to be named the best film. After the "Sixth Sense", serious demands were made to the Indian Shyamalan , which he ignored very disregardingly. Including for this reason, almost every subsequent work of the director causes a contradictory reaction from admiration to misunderstanding. This fate was not spared and Signs , where Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix played the main roles.
This film is not really about aliens or their invasion. The external threat, shown through the struggle of an individual family with it, becomes only a formal driver of the plot, raising questions of a different kind - true faith, spiritual transformation and resilience. The very famous history of the mysterious signs in the corn fields is not particularly explained here, but it is one of the brightest symbols aimed at further escalating the situation. Shyamalan can always be scolded for the predictability of the plot development or some naivety, sometimes even bordering on stupidity. But what cannot be taken away from him is the ability to thicken the twilight of mysticism around the heroes so tightly that even the most rational viewer will sometimes have to shudder or experience a strange insight from what is happening. The result is a kind of magical realism in the cinema,
The Childhood's End, Nick Harran
Childhood's End based on a script by Matthew Graham and a book by old school science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke is an example of a quality modern science fiction TV show. This is a three-part mini-series from Syfy TV channel. Here, just like in "Arrival" , alien spaceships suddenly hang over the Earth. Only now they bring a completely different message - our planet is under occupation by a powerful enemy. At the same time, life on Earth begins to resemble a utopia: wars, conflicts and various kinds of oppression stop. It is worth thanks to the Overlords - the very alien race that nobly decided to help the unreasonable earthlings.
The novel by Arthur Clarke is considered a classic in alien literature. And they were interested in him as a material for the production more than once: first Stanley Kubrick himself, who eventually chose another work of Clark , then the "Hollywood communist" Abraham Polonsky - also unsuccessfully, and, finally, BBC , who recorded a radio show of the work in 1997. The director of the miniseries Nick Harran is best known for working on several episodes of British TV diamonds - Doctor Who ( Doctor Who ) and Sherlock " ( Sherlock ).
We will not talk here about the discrepancies between the book and the show, for that they are separate works, but one cannot fail to note the depth of the questions asked in the series, as well as the answers received to them. There is no need to wait for consolation, but to reflect with the characters about the fate of mankind on a universal scale is a pleasure, perhaps dubious, but very attractive.
"Stay in my shoes" ( Jonathan Glazer )
Finally, let us recall the very strange and hypnotic film Jonathan Glazer about an alien creature who fell to Earth, favorably adopted the image of Scarlett Johansson. Previously, the music video maker of bands such as Radiohead , Massive Attack and UNKLE , Glazer was preparing for the release of Stay in my shoes " based on Michel Faber's satirical sci-fi novel for ten years. As a result, the film got to the 70th Venice Film Festival and caused excitement, bewilderment, admiration among both critics and spectators - a whole complex of conflicting feelings.
The Briton's creation turned out to be viscous, built on abstract images, somewhere at the junction of arthouse and fantasy. With traditional, familiar ideas about how a movie should be made, it’s better not to look here. People with a fine mental organization too. The funny thing is that the mass audience "Stay in my shoes" was attracted only by the fact that there is nudity here in many scenes with the participation of Scarlett . And if someone after the release of the trailer for "Ghost in the Shell" could still be outraged by the non-drawing of some parts of the seductive body of the actress, then Glazer has everything for real.
However, for a thoughtful viewer, the picture will, of course, be remembered by others, namely by an unusual study of the relationship between the sexes and the boundaries of humanism in an unusual setting. You can joke that in some scenes this is just irony about what it is like to be in the body of Scarlett Johansson . Her heroine is the same “man who fell to Earth”, exploring his new look and other people, up to their physical condition, with the look of someone else. Such a detached position is in many ways the highlight of the film, where seemingly familiar things turn out to be something no less strange than possibly existing alien beings.
The Topic of Article: There is a contact: how the UFO appeared to the viewer.