Monday, March 7, 2011

Fly me to the Moon

Now that the dust has settled with the awards season, attention now turns to what the coming months has in store for cinemagoers. The inspiration behind this new post is down to a gentleman with the Twitter name of @ManMadeMoon aka Duncan Jones aka the son of iconic rock star David Bowie aka the man behind 2009's Moon. One film that has certainly struck my attention for some time is Duncan Jones’s Source Code. Before 2009, Duncan Jones was an independent director, writer, producer and all round Sci-Fi film boffin.


But then July 2009 saw the release of a small-time Sci-Fi film called Moon starring Sam Rockwell about a lone astronaut coming towards the end of a three-year spell on the Moon. It was immediately hailed as a triumph by critics and audiences alike and for the Brit filmmaker, he was propped on the keep-your-eye-on-this-guy list. He deservedly received a Bafta for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer in 2010 amongst other accolades and before you can say, "In space, no one can hear you scream," he is hot property.

So the question is what road would he go down next? Remain to conquer Britain or show the rest of the world what he’s all about? 1st April will surely reveal the answer in the form of his next release, Sci-Fi actioner Source Code starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan. The story focuses on Captain Colter Stevens, a solider who unknowingly wakes up in the body of a man and soon realises he’s part of a hi tech team investigating a terrorist bombing on a train. To find out who has committed the bombing, Stevens must go back in time and relive the experience during the last eight minutes.

There have been inevitable comparisons to the likes of Groundhog Day, Strangers On A Train and Déjà Vu. But to me, this very much sets itself out to be a truly original and standalone piece of filmmaking of which I cannot wait to witness. It has a strong supporting cast that includes Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright who can both certainly hold their own on screen. The anticipation has accelerated further with the marketing stepping up a notch now, with two trailers, a selection of TV spots and three inventive posters. The 39-year-old director currently appears to have the world at his feet and it will be very interesting to see how Hollywood treats his follow-up feature. There is no question he knows his Sci-Fi but it will be interesting to see how he fares from a small, low budget Indie gem to a mind bending mainstream thriller with an A-list cast to boot.

So what's next for the rookie filmmaker. There has been a lot of activity on the rumour mill of a supposed follow-up to Moon which will serve as an epilogue. Jones has been quoted as wanting to continue the Moon series with two more films. According to various internet forums, he is currently in pre-production of Mute - another science fiction film set in Berlin that is a love letter to Blade Runner. But in terms of the here, the now and the present, i'm sure Duncan Jones will be savouring every moment and keeping his feet firmly on the ground. I agree with the outlook from the Guardian, his career will result in one of two ways; he'll either do a Christopher Nolan and conquer the Independent filmworld and then become a master in big budget smash-hits. Or he'll start off strong then slowly decline film by film just like the careers of Richard Kelly and M Night Shyamalan panned out. I highly doubt the outcome will result in the latter. On the other hand, you never know it might be written in the stars.

Source Code is released on 1st April

Written by Michael Cunneen

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