Screen Anarchists On: INTERSTELLAR

Editor, Europe; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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(All In Good Time, or: just how stellar was Interstellar?)

By now Christopher Nolan's Interstellar has been orbiting most of the world in wide release for a week, and it sure has left its mark. It's raking in money, although its international haul is noticeably more stellar than its US-based one, and it manages to be a much talked-about film.

Pierce was the first of us to see the film and was floored by it, calling Interstellar "a breathtaking marriage of ambition and heart" in his excellent review.

Looking at opinions on the Internet, his views are not shared by everyone though. Critics and other viewers alike are quite vocal about what they perceive to be the film's stronger and weaker points. Given some of the discussions we've had this week, even us writers here at ScreenAnarchy are pretty divided on the film.

So we had a quick round-up of opinions about the film, and decided to put them here for all to see, in a gallery. The first one up is Pierce again, adding a few words to his review, but click through them all to see our general reception of the film.

Some are elated, some are angry. All are valid in their own way, and so is yours. So please leave your own impression in the comments!

Pierce Conran, Ryland Aldrich, Kwenton Bellette, Jim Tudor, Patryk Czekaj, James Marsh, Jaime Grijalba Gomez, Eric Ortiz Garcia, Sean Smithson and Kurt Halfyard contributed to this story.

Pierce Conran - Contributing Writer

For me, Interstellar was a thrilling experience and one I was keen to revisit so I saw it again once it was released in Korea, and I took the opportunity to visit the newly opened Lotte Tower multiplex in Seoul, which boasts the world's largest cinema screen as well as ATMOS sound, after having seen the film on IMAX during a press screening.

Despite the mixed (but still quite positive) reception of the film, Interstellar still stands as a bold, breathlessly emotional, and yes, visionary work. One major sequence early on inspired a strong reaction in me (I cried) and I wanted to know if that emotion, not to mention the thrill of certain set pieces would still inspire the same physical reactions on the second go round. To my delight, they did, and this means I'm angling to see it a third time for which I will seek it out in 35mm. Alas the nearest 70mm IMAX is in Taipei, though it is extremely tempting to take a brief holiday!

On a side note, though US returns have been a little soft for the moment, its Korean opening weekend was about twice as well attended and its looking like it will grow this coming weekend. As a combination of spectacle and emotional drama (a key element of most commercial Asian films), Interstellar is an ideal fit for this market.

Please Hollywood, throw more money at original films!

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Marc ClementNovember 14, 2014 10:00 AM

Does it hold the power to change the world or alter humanity’s perspective of the universe? Of course not, it’s only a movie.

Tell that to H.G. Wells... they were just books

Robert MrózNovember 14, 2014 10:27 AM

Just to give credit where credit's due - this "mirrors" quote is from "Solaris" the book, later put into the movie. Concerning "Interstellar" - love it. Every minute of it. I was quite worried about the ending when it seemed to unravel, but then everything came into place. I'm definitely going to see it in IMAX for the second time. I would share my review with you, but it's in Polish ;)

KurtNovember 14, 2014 1:04 PM

Refresh my memory, Robert, did Tarkovsky also use that quote? I don't remember it in the 1972 version. It's a darn fine bit of observation and kudos to S. Lem for penning it.

Robert MrózNovember 14, 2014 8:24 PM

Oh my, I couldn't tell, I've seen Tarkovsky's version ages ago... But I don't remember it either.

DJ_BobbyPeruNovember 14, 2014 8:46 PM

I liked it, but only slightly. I compare it to Contact(also with McConaughey, somehow) that it has some incredible stuff, but the metaphysical endings involving family members doesn't really work for me. Then again, I'm not as into Nolan as a lot of people are; I like most of his stuff, but never went nuclear for any of them.

HowardNovember 14, 2014 8:49 PM

1) what's funny is there's no assigned leader on the spaceship! You have 4 individuals doing majority vote on which planet to visit wtf. How is Cooper recruited as the "pilot" but takes part in the decision making lol.

2) so there's no time for training, they just hop on da ship and off they go!

3) Black dude waiting 23 years on da ship alone and he hasn't gone senile? wtf

4) I could already predict what's gonna happen to Matt Damon, the black guy, and Coop's daughter

5) Worth seeing for IMAX in space, other than that too much mumbo jumbo!

Pa Kent Says MaybeNovember 15, 2014 3:33 AM

Kwenton nails it.

Robert MrózNovember 15, 2014 6:14 AM

2) Man, this immediate cut to the spaceship launch was powerful as hell. Obviously there was training etc., they just didn't show it because we've seen it too many times before.

3) He was hibernated for some of this time.

And so on, and so on :P

knewsomethingNovember 15, 2014 9:46 PM

I'll second that. To my mind the first half of the movie set up the rules and these were not followed in the last 40 minutes. I was left disappointed and really have to labour to remember how much I actually enjoyed earlier parts. I really wanted to like to this movie, Nolan has a lot of goodwill with me from Inception, Prestige and Insomnia. Soundtrack was spectacular.

kurosawafanNovember 15, 2014 9:58 PM

Yeah, it's definitely in the Tarkovsky version.

Mohit KumarNovember 16, 2014 10:53 AM

I was also worried about the ending which is Christopher Nolan's tendency to mess up - but Interstellar was solid till the very end.

Mohit KumarNovember 16, 2014 10:56 AM

I kinda like these metaphysics based movies. After watching Contact, I had been hunting for similar movies for years, finally one came - Interstellar.

Mr. CavinNovember 16, 2014 2:24 PM

I didn't love it. But I'll be right upfront about my bias against Nolan (and others), whose ponderous amber-hued myth-making comes across as a butt-hurt play for validation in pursuit of stories he maybe feels are in danger of being dismissed as fluff. And while I tried to state that as obnoxiously as possible, I'd be a moron if I didn't admit that he's got the market well-nigh figured out. This does seem to be what people want. But it's not for me.

Had this movie been trimmed of literal and figurative corn, heartland nostalgia, potshots at perceived anti-progressives in nearly the same breathless embrace of military-industrial tech, rah-rah Americana, and just the general patina of un-fun that feels distinctly Nolan to me (in the future, even love is pure misery, by god!), I might have liked it a lot better. Also I think there is a little too much of a push to try "bending our minds" at the end of these things. While I totally dig risking a plot on the flagrantly theoretical, maybe this one was a little cliche (everybody says CONTACT, but does nobody remember FREQUENCY?). Right in the middle, though, there is an interesting stab at making thoughtful speculative fiction, after all. Cut down to a ninety-minute space movie, Christopher Nolan's MOON, his 2001, I think it would have been a lot better. Also, I dug most of the performances.

But I think this needs to be said. So I didn't love it, right, but I'm going to sing its praises forever, anyway, since this is the movie that's putting the lie to the idea that J.J. Abrams had to dumb STAR TREK down into some post-nine-eleven military pop-fantasy to sell tickets. Because this movie is Star Trek. It's Star Trek without a hot crew of space models, and without a lot of spaceships blowing up or laser gun battles, without a lot of other bullshit, too. It's a return to thinking and talking and wonder, and it seems to be selling tickets just fine. And that's damn good. So maybe I didn't love it, but I want to see a lot more like it.

Marcel SamsonNovember 16, 2014 5:40 PM

Not related to the movie (since I haven't seen it yet), but it was just a bit notable: 12 different views, yet all by dudes? I guess online movie reviewing is a man's world, huh? In a piece like this, it would be nice to have a more diverse selection of people I guess.

In any way: a 170 min film really has to deliver and keep me interested. If not I will be sleeping through the last half, haha. The general opinion doesn't seem that promising for me though...

Ard VijnNovember 16, 2014 8:56 PM

True, but the fact that there are only dudes was not by design. We asked all writers who had seen it to add their two cents, and this is the result. Several of the women in our team hadn't seen the film yet, and the remaining ones weren't able to send in a piece for different reasons.

Mind you, the gender of the writers never came to mind (until you mentioned it) as I'm not sure it would have mattered. We asked for individual opinions, and hoped some variety between them would appear automatically. If we had one female writer participating, would that suddenly have been "the feminine viewpoint"? Or do women's opinions only count as individual ones if we have six different viewpoints among those?

We decided to treat all opinions as equal and published every single one we got in before the article's deadline rang. Nobody was excluded. But indeed, there are not as many women as men writing for Twitch, and that in itself may say something about the industry as a whole.

SaunderizerNovember 16, 2014 9:37 PM

YOU made it notable, White Knight.

Marcel SamsonNovember 16, 2014 11:54 PM

You are right, a female viewpoint wouldn't be the viewpoint of al of them. Just an observation, and it seems indeed to be something not uncommon to the industry, unfortunately.

Hadn't even noticed you had female writers, really.

In any way, I wasn't trying to imply that the lack of female opinions mase the current ones less valuable.

@the other dude: I prefer mocca colored Knight, thank you.

Ard VijnNovember 17, 2014 7:01 AM

No worries: we didn't take it like that, and it's indeed a valid observation.

As for female writers: if you click on the GLOBAL CINEMA logo at the top right of the page, you get a list of all recent/current writers. Shelagh, Izzy and Diva are frequent contributors in that list.