DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Machinist, Steamboy, Chasing God


This year's Sci-Fi-London looks like the best ever - see below for my top 3 picks...


THE MACHINIST How do you wake up from a nightmare if you're not asleep?In this unnerving saga, Trevor Reznick (Bale) works away in a machine shop, performing a drudge-like function but a dangerous one. The machinery is steely and scary, and Trevor is losing his grip, physically and emotionally. Freaking out his co-workers with his wisened frame, he's out-of-whack in his conversation too. When he causes a harrowing accident - a co-worker loses his arm - Trevor is completely ostracized and threatened. He realizes he's losing it, and his condition keeps getting worse. He hasn't slept in a year. Trevor's only solace comes from a prostitute named Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and a waitress named Marie (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón). Marie works at a coffee shop at the airport, where Trevor goes every night for a piece of apple pie and a cup of coffee, always leaving an extremely large tip. Haggard, bug-eyed and prone to hallucinations, Trevor can't tell up from down, reality from delusion.



STEAM BOY Best known for his seminal animé movie AKIRA, Katsuhiro Otomo brings us one of the most lavish and costly animated films ever. This sci-fi epic is set in Victorian London, took 10 year to finish and has more than 400 CG shots.A retro science-fiction epic set, "Steamboy" features an inventor prodigy named Ra Stim who receives a mysterious metal ball containing a new form of energy capable of powering an entire nation. This young boy must use it to fight evil, redeem his family, and save London from destruction. The lush Victorian interiors and the elegance of the era's mechanical design allows Otomo to create dazzling visual backgrounds and machines for this film. With more than 180,000 drawing cuts, "Steamboy" is one of the most elaborate animated features ever!


CHASING GOD Narrated by comedian Dawn French (The Vicar of Dibley), this thought provoking film addresses a subject matter rarely tackled: why do humans believe in a Higher Power? By interviewing scientists, atheists and religious leaders from diverse faiths, this documentary explores the motivations of humankind to believe in something bigger and more powerful than itself, today and throughout the ages. By travelling the globe and asking poignant questions of its subjects, Chasing God is able to look at the relevancy of God in today's world. Today, some see the very existence of humanity being threatened. War is being mooted as a solution to peace and protection, and many people feel powerless to influence outcomes. This has prompted many new prayer and meditation websites and groups to appear - maybe in a desperate attempt for divine intervention. It has always been true that when human beings are afraid or in pain we reach out for a power greater than our own. Beliefs about God have divided humanity. This documentary seeks to highlight a paradoxical unifying principle beyond the divisive interpretations of God. While science cannot prove or disprove the existence of God, ultimately it is either a universal truth or a mass delusion. In the absence of any veritable proof, what we are then left with, is people's personal experience. This documentary spotlights the most controversial yet elusive figure in recorded history. No one else has been the subject of such hotly contested debate, disagreement, and wars...

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