“Cinema is truth at 24 frames per second.”
“Cinema is lies at 24 frames per second.”
One of the most important components of interpretation is the peerless act of questioning. Frequently the question carries value even apart from an answer and the right question will always outwork an easy answer.
The following twenty four questions are prompts for a critical engagement of the film. Some can be answered immediately after watching, while others might require further research.
There is a danger to interpretation because, unlike Art, interpretation is closed and reductive. Art, because it is open, requires a flexible mind; it is expansive and sprawling. Therefore do not feel the need to tie everything together or to explain everything. Good movies require multiple viewings and great movies require your lifetime. Be content to enjoy the art of reflection.
Hints for a film club:
- If you are able, watch the film before you gather to watch it together.
- Watch it straight through with few comments.
- Do not take notes. Develop your memory.
- Mention a few elements you enjoyed from the film.
- Ask questions regarding themes, character motivations, scenes, potential symbols and any repeated images or patterns.
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Alex Garland
- How does the name of the ship comment on their mission?
- What does the sun come to represent over the course of the movie?
- What does Capa think is the most beautiful thing in the world?
- What does Corazon mean?
- What does the design of the spacesuits look like?
- How does space, as Mace says, cause one to “lose track” of one’s self?
- What is the purpose of showing Mercury’s transit of the sun?
- How are the women different from the men?
- How are Cassie and Corazon different from each other?
- What is Searle looking for in the sun?
- What is it about Searle that causes him to pursue the sun?
- How is Mace’s character revealed in his name?
- What is the purpose of the scene with Mace in the earth room watching violent waves?
- How is Harvey, the communications officer, contrasted with his job?
- Is Trey’s sacrifice the same as the sacrifice of Kaneda?
- How are Searle and Pinbacker similar?
- How are Searle and Pinbacker different?
- Is Pinbacker a true devotee to the sun?
- What does it say that his devotion scarred him?
- How is movement restricted as the movie progresses?
- What is the difference between the deaths of Captain Kaneda, Searle and Harvey?
- How is Capa’s vision of falling into the sun contrasted with the event at the end?
- What does it mean that Capa turns his back on the explosion and reaches out to the sun?
- How does this film fit with other great science fiction films?