There is no force on Earth more powerful than the will to live.
I didn’t enjoy Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire as much as the next guy did, but boy does Boyle make good cinema in his latest film 127 Hours. For me, the most memorable moment was when the plot moves on to the second day of his entrapment. James Franco is thrashing around frantically to free his arm – but the soundtrack used for the scene is Bill Withers’ Lovely Day. The contrast of emotions is so stark that it jolted me upright; it’s almost as effective as a well-timed “Boo!”
Seriously, check this film out. Also, the song is lovely.
(I was extremely annoyed by the some of the other patrons in the theatre where I watched this as they kept laughing throughout the film. Have they no humanity?)
Watching 127 Hours reminded me of another film – British sci-fi flick Moon. Moon is also a primarily one-man starrer (Sam Rockwell) that revolves around a similar theme of a man’s will to live and survive against all odds. What really made me join the dots is how Moon too uses music cleverly to juxtapose contrasting ideas by playing Chesney Hawkes’ The One and Only (he played at Surrey University!) in scenes where the character Sam Bell is shown to be alone but [redacted to not reveal plot].
You think you’ve heard epic movie soundtracks? Wait till you hear Clint Mansell’s compositions for Moon; they will fucking blow your mind. Welcome, to the Lunar Industries.
And even though no AI computer in science fiction is going to ever top 2001: A Space Odyssey‘s HAL 9000, in my opinion Moon‘s Gerty comes close to greatness. For he does what HAL doesn’t – Gerty goes against his ultimate masters, programming, and mission objectives to help out a human Sam Bell purely out of what appears to be compassion.
There’s a scene where Gerty is upset to learn Sam Bell is sad and ‘cries’. It’s a simple transition from a concerned smiley to a crying smiley, and yet it communicates volumes about the bond between man and machine.