Moon and "Dust Country"

Moon (2009), by British director Duncan Jones, is an excellent science fiction film. Jones's film is, I imagine, the kind of piece that improves with time. I want to give it another look in a month or so, and see how it moves me. There were subtleties in character and with the visuals that I'd like to look at again. A mystery that delves into the human psyche while simultaneously skewering corporate exploitation, this film recently won a Hugo award as the best science fiction film of last year.

Sam Rockwell does a fine job in both of his roles, playing Sam Bell, a haggard astronaut isolated from his young wife and daughter on the far side of the moon while he works the harvest for Lunar Corporation, the Earth's leading supplier of "clean" energy (thing is, you can't call it clean when you have blood on your hands). Rockwell is funny in spots (the radioactive tampon line is hilarious), perfectly incredulous in others, and wonderful throughout. I think we'll be seeing him in pictures for a long time, and that is a very good thing.

I can't get too much into the film without spoiling it, so I'll just say that it's a steady, engaging picture that builds tension and deals with some interesting issues about what the future might look like. "We're not programmed, Gerty. We're people," Sam Bell says in the film's third act. It's that sentiment that stays with the audience long after the credits are finished.

Also, for those of you who wanted to read my alien-abduction tale "Dust Country" in hardcopy, it's now available in an alien-themed collection of Residential Aliens. Lyn Perry does an excellent job with that publication, and I'm thankful to him for reprinting this little horror tale, set in the badlands of Southern Oregon, in RA #3. Beware the dusty stranger!

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