Friday, December 4, 2009

Joe the Lion

There's a track called Joe the Lion on Bowie's Heroes album and a part in that song that I love. I love the pun on the word God in the lines: 'you can buy God/ it's Monday' where Bowie modulates his voice from singing to a cast-away throw-off almost-spoken phrase about the drag of starting another working week. Apparently Bowie wrote the song about/ while thinking of his son.

I've been thinking about that song because recently I watched a film. Here's the connection: the film is the debut of its director, Duncan Jones. Duncan Jones is the son of David Bowie (real name David Jones); so Duncan Jones=Joe the Lion. His film is called Moon; it's an independent, low-budget sci-fi movie made at Shepperton studios in London. And it's wonderful and thought-provoking and a return to what sci-fi was always intended to do: make us think about 'what-ifs' and the current state of the human condition.

The film concerns a man, Sam Bell, who lives alone on the Moon, single-handedly mining Helium3, humanity's prime energy source. He's on a three-year contract, which has almost ended; he's dreaming of finishing up and returning to Earth and the family he loves and misses. Things happen. And along the way we get to explore the themes of loneliness, belonging and identity.

I enjoyed the film immensely, as did the majority of the critics who reviewed it. If you're lucky, Moon might be coming to a cinema near you; if you live in Swaziland, it definitely won't (we don't have a cinema).

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