Tuesday, January 8, 2008

At the intersection of Lang and Lucas

Science-fiction films tend to fall into one of two camps: there are films which work in earnest to predict and portray things to come, and there are films which simply wrap sci-fi garb around good old pulp adventure and fantasy stories. It’s that former category that’s been most on the mind and DVD player as I’ve worked on Moonshot, well represented by Fritz Lang’s Frau im Mond, from 1929 (terrific, and the movie that gave us the countdown), Destination Moon, from 1950 (lousy, but with a few good visual moments), and Stanley Kubrik and Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, from 1968 (whoa, still). Some beautiful and prescient work in each of those movies.

And yet—it’s a sassy, take-charge gal with a distinctive hairdo from that second camp that keeps coming to mind as I paint the Lunar Module. It’s Princess Leia, and I keep hearing her say, “You came in that? You’re braver than I thought.”

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