Sunday, April 12, 2015

At Flashbak: We Don't Need Other Worlds; We Need Mirrors

One of my articles at Flashbak this week looks at a question I tackled on the blog too (in regards to Interstellar [2014]).  

In particular, my post looks at sci-fi films that feature the "ultimate trip," but find at the end of the universe not aliens, but...home.

"In Stanislaw Lem’s 1961 novel, Solaris, one character observes that humans have no need of other worlds, and that our world, Earth will “suffice.” 


Well, Lem’s writing suggested that man had not yet explored the “dark passages” of his own psyche, and therefore any attempt to explore other worlds would butt up only against his own closed mind. 

On distant other worlds, the author imagined, we would see only a crack’d “mirror” that reflects our nature, not something truly alien, something truly different.

Uniquely, some of the most admired and thought-provoking science fiction films of past decades have adopted the same creative tack.

When the protagonists in these daring cinematic visions travel to the farthest regions of space and existence itself, they meet not with something truly alien, but with something, instead of Earth.  The “alien” is wrapped up not in the unknowable, but the familiar objects and symbols of home.

With that thought in mind, here are six films that embarked upon “the ultimate trip” only to end up, finally, bringing audiences firmly back down to terra firma."

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