TIP of the Scyfilove cap goes to Neill Blomkamp and District 9, which opened this week in the UK.
I had already blogged about its clever marketing campaign, but I saw it during a specially extended lunch hour in Liverpool and it was a great way to spend a Friday afternoon.
I could go on and on about why, but don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll keep it quick and easy:
1) The South African cast: no Hollywood stars – or even actors you recognise – kept it real. Should all films have an unknown cast?
2) The Prawns: beautifully designed and realised.
3) The special effects: obviously limited by budget, but rationed to make a massive impact.
4) The faux documentary style of the film-makers.
5) The nods to video games like Halo and Doom in the tech on display – expected from Blomkamp, who was to direct the Halo film before it fell through.
6) Aliens treated as second-class citizens – done before in Alien Nation and the like – but given extra allegorical resonance by the setting in South Africa.
7) The decision to make the leading man sympathetic, but not likeable.
9) More intelligent and thoughtful science fiction – Duncan Jones’s Moon is not alone.
That’s enough for now – I’ll jot something more down in a few days or so, to give people the chance to see it.
Oh, and 10) I got to sneak out of work to go and see it!
What did you think of it?