Favorite movies

 

Interstellar

  • Themes: tackling nothing less than the essence and fate of humanity; sending messages to oneself from the future; saving one's family versus saving humanity; love's ability to transcend all of spacetime; distortion of spacetime (relativity); lying to people about their hopeless state to motivate them to save all of humanity; the future of humanity
    • Director Christopher Nolan: "The film is continually trying to contrast the individual and the particular with the cosmic"
    • Composer Hans Zimmer: "The basis of our human spirit, our sense of adventure, our sense of science; our sense of the impossible: it captures it in such an emotional way. It's a spiritual connection"
    • Actress Jessica Chastain: "I have a curious mind, and I'm never comfortable just sitting back and going 'Ah, it's alright, I'm just happy here.' I want to learn. And I hope this movie instills a curiosity in other people"
    • Producer Emma Thomas "I would love for kids to watch this film and get excited about the possibilities of space travel and exploration. I think that what's fantastic about the science behind the film is that there are so many possibilities, and there's so much more to explore"
    • Nolan: "I think we have a generation who's absorbed the idea of technological process as entirely earthbound, and to do with making our everyday lives more easy, or whatever, as opposed to the specialness, and the extraordinary nature of a few select individuals pushing the boundaries of where the human race, the human species, has ever been or can possibly go to. I think it would be really thrilling if people got some sense from this film that these ideas were worth thinking about beyond just the scope of watching Interstellar"
  • Style: homages to 2001 (color balance, metal industrial materials, interaction and fascination with the unknown, haunting and pensive reflection on the nature of humanity)
  • Production: an analog, tactile approach; film and miniatures for a realistic and timeless look; use of the tesseract to represent time as a spacial dimension - visually communicating about dimensionality, gravity, spacetime, and infinity
    • Nolan: "With science fiction, the danger is that the human element gets lost. And so, I think incorporating an organic, people-based approach methodology to every aspect of the film, whether it was the recording of the music, or the miniatures or costumes, all of these things, like really trying to always retain a human element, I think grounds the film. We want it to feel relatable; we want it to feel tactile, because ultimately the film is about human beings—what binds us together, what divides us, these kinds of things. But that setting of deep, deep space in between the stars, between galaxies, it give you a very, very fresh approach to be able to look at those issues"
  • Soundtrack: grand, operatic, pensive, booming, deep, and timeless; supernatural; crescendos at climaxes; sudden silences for dramatic effect; performed by a real human being on a real organ; the acoustics of cathedrals
    • Zimmer on the organ: "There's something very human about it, because it can only make a sound with air, and it needs to breathe. On each note you hear the breath. You hear the exhale"
    • Nolan: "You feel a human presence in every sound"
    • Zimmer on the setting of the performances: "These architects weren't fools when they built these cathedrals. I mean, the acoustics inside these places is staggering, because it is supposed to impress. It is supposed to take you to other worlds"
  • Home video: Thoughtful and deeply moving special features

 

2001: A Space Odyssey

  • Cinematography: Cool color balance and industrial materials that reflect the cold, neutral nature of space
  • A great review

 

Boyhood

  • Production: blurring the lines between art and reality; movie time mimics real time; we see the development of a human life alongside the development of their character