Friday, December 30, 2011

Another Earth

As I wrote in my earlier piece on Attack the Block, so often sci-fi is imagined on a grand scale. Here is another movie that takes a sci-fi backdrop (a new, mirror Earth has appeared in the near cosmos) on which to hang an understated tale of grief and redemption.

The movie has one of the most awesome (not to be confused with AWESOME!) scenes I saw in a movie this year, in which one of the characters plays a musical saw, which I had never seen/heard before and if you haven't  either, prepare to be dazzled:

The things people can do astound me. Who first pulled out a saw and a violin bow and thought, "Yeah, this'll work"?

The other earth in the sky is not just a mirror earth, but the people on the other earth are the same as the people on this earth (that is, the scientist trying to make contact from this earth makes contact with the same scientist on the other earth, etc). The notion of another you on a mirror planet living the same life is interesting, but another you living a different life is the more fascinating because it means you have choices/free will, and your life if what you made/make it. You are not destined to live any one life, but you only have one life and what you do matters in that your life would be different if you did different things. You could be a different person entirely. In which case, is the person on the other earth really another "you" at all?

The ending is a perfect neo-Twilight Zone moment.

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