Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Archive for the 'Movies' Category

The Book of Eli

Friday, September 17th, 2010

I wanted to see this movie from the moment I saw the beautiful cinematography in the trailer—and once I decide I’m going to watch a movie, I try to avoid all reviews and opinions so I can come to it fresh. So I didn’t know much about it going in, except that it involved a post-apocalyptic setting and perhaps, a reawakening of religion, probably Christian.

Last night I finally had a chance to watch it, and oh my, was I disappointed. No . . . it was worse than that. This movie left me furious with the usual lament: Why spend so much money, why spend so much talent, and not include more than a snippet of actual story?

* * * WARNING: Everything after the jump is a spoiler * * *

What I Learned From Inception

Monday, July 19th, 2010

I enjoyed and admired the movie Inception, and highly recommend it. I also learned a couple interesting things from it, from a writer’s perspective. (I don’t think there are any spoilers in the following, but if you’re like me and want to know as little as possible about a movie once you’ve decided to see it, than come back later . . .)

* The tech doesn’t have to be explained. The script successfully handles lots of tricky concepts, but says not one word (that I can recall) about how the architecture of shared dreams is communicated, and that’s okay. I don’t need to know. I just need the “What if”—what if we could do this. Coming from a hard science fiction background, this was enlightening.

* World building isn’t always necessary. So far as I could tell, the story was set in the present, in the world we live in, except that this dream technology exists. There’s no attempt to extrapolate what the world might look like ten or fifteen years hence when this technology is maturing, or to explore what other effects it might have on society. The story is tightly focused on itself and not at all interested in the world at large, which works great in this movie.

And a minor bonus lesson:

* Titles are tricky. I love one word titles, but “Inception” was hard to get my head around. Exception? Incision? Invictus? What the hell was it again?

If you can remember the title, go see it, and let me know what you think.