Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Greatest film of all time: Dark Star

This from: http://mrlondonstreet.blogspot.com/2011/02/running-mates.html
I have a theory that every film enthusiast has at least one film they feel evangelical about which practically nobody has ever heard of. Off the top of my head I love Whit Stillman's Metropolitan and an obscure Australian romantic comedy called Love And Other Catastrophes. To finish off, would you like to pop on a soapbox and pitch about yours?


My film is Dark Star.
And, no, I don’t get to the movies very often. But when I do, I am enthusiastic, and I can become evangelical. Certainly with a film that was just perfect for the day I saw it.

Dark Star!
You must go see it!
Frabjulous special effex!
Stunning creativity!
Cleverer dialog than any other film, ever!

No, seriously, Dark Star was the feature-length graduate project of film school students John Carpenter and Dan O’Bannon. It inspired me for years afterwards with ideas for fantasy role playing campaigns.

Alright, what possible context could make this laughable movie a personal favorite? I was a junior in high school, going out to the San Diego Comic Con with my high school senior friends. (merely going out with people in the class ahead of you! it’s a big deal at the time)
This particular Con my steady boyfriend was out of town for the summer, and I went with another guy. Oh, yes! A guy who had already graduated. Who had a job, and a car. And indeed, this rather short series of outings did include the sweetest kiss at the front gate, rides in his barely roadworthy Volkswagon bug, feet up on the dash, Devo loud on the radio, and pizza evenings. And that of course resulted in his own steady girlfriend clawing him back to her (they are still married together).
So imagine then a certain teenage electricity in the air.
And imagine too a certain new sense of belonging in this group of afternoon gamers and fans of all science fiction, a place where the stranger you were the more you fit in.
And then looking at this film, and realizing that you could do that. The story is good but not beyond us. Undergraduate Philosophy for special dialog. The effects, well, pretty much anybody could do as well as that. Muffin tin space suits and ice cube tray computer consoles! I could be a filmmaker too, if that’s all it took.
So that's my film.
I haven't seen it in years.


Argent said...

Ooh, I've always enjoyed this and also haven't seen it in years! Thanks for the reminder!

Bagman and Butler said...

Great story. I was going to say Avatar until I read the context and began thinking of good movies made great by friends and sweet kisses. And a movie from the sixties - A Man and a Woman -- came to mind. And I don't know the people at all but my opinion is that the guy married the wrong woman.

Titus said...

I LOVE that film.

Kat Mortensen said...

I love, Peter Weir's "Picnic at Hanging Rock" and one day, I'll be sure and write about it.

"Dark Star", I will have to look for and watch sometime in the future too.