Saturday, August 10, 2013

Elysium: The ultimate planned community; what's it really like to live there?

Elysium”, on the surface (pun) certainly plays out the “class war” between the rich and poor.  Early in the film,  in a ruined Los Angeles that looks like a South African township during apartheid, a young Max (Matt Damon when grown) asks his Catholic nun why life isn’t fair.  As a soldier, he’ll try to make it right later.  When forced by his boss to expose himself to lethal radiation, he just has to get to the “rich people’s” colony on the gigantic space station to get cured, and get some other people (including a mom and daughter with lymphoma) cured.  Classic screenwriting requires urgency, right?

The space colony is run by Delacourt (Jodie Foster), who manipulates he “board” as well as some rogue businessmen (like Carlyle, William Fitchner) to keep this ashram of privilege available for her kids.  She utters a line about the value of having kids, although she looks too old.

There are other characters in the mix, including a defrocked Kruger (Shalto Copley), whose medical reconstruction proves “it always grows back.”

Really, I wanted to see more of the colony, more about its internal geography and daily life.  The ring structures remind one a little of the spaceship in Arthur C. Clarke’s ‘Rendezvous with Rama”.  But the place looked rather monotonous, without different zones or magic kingdoms.  It did not come from Disney.
Tristar’s site for the film is here

Matt Damon’s body of tattoos (temporary makeup?) did not impress me. I prefer without.

I have a screenplay in which a character finds himself in a kind of “afterlife” in a “space station” that is furcated into historical periods.  The character (based on me) eventually has to father a child to provide more young people to run the staff of the ashram, which supports a base of alien “angels” (the best of us).  The world below will go to pot, just as in this film.

See also, review of "Upside Down" March 21. a simlar story concept to "Elysium".

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