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Poster for 'Arrival'

I went to see this having read the story it's based on, whereas [ profile] attimes_bracing knew only the barest outline of the film's plot. We both came out very much liking it.

As an adaptation it is not at all bad, and Ted Chiang is on record as approving of it. I was a little concerned by the first trailer but that seems to have oversold the 'threatened military confrontation with aliens' thread that was added for the film. Certainly, what we got was about as far from the stereotype of the monsters-versus-the-military sf blockbuster as you could imagine, and was beautifully filmed (although the Montana Tourist Board might fret at the implication that the state is permanently dull and rainy). The depiction of the Heptapods and their language was if anything even better than in the original story, although I do wonder if anyone on the production team had seen Torchwood: Children of Earth, which also featured starfish aliens barely glimpsed through fog behind a glass barrier.

Arrival fails the Bechdel Test, but probably – depending on your interpretation – passes the Mako Mori Test.

For purely parochial reasons, it would have been entertaining to see more about the British attempts to engage with the ship said to have appeared over Devon. as depicted on this version of the film poster, although for good reasons the film concentrated on the US team's interactions with its non-Anglosphere counterparts. From the little we did see, one rather suspects it involved posh Oxbridge types trying to enunciate English loudly and very slowly to the Heptapods...

Date: 2016-11-27 01:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Saw it on Monday, the first film I've watched at the cinema this year (although I did go to the cinema to see an opera relay during the summer).

The one thing I really remembered from the story wasn't included. That was the discussion about the refraction of light and how the light beam takes the route with the shortest time, and how does the light beam know that. Although I'd been taught Snell's law of refraction at school, it never occurred to me that this led to the path of shortest duration, but I then went away and did the maths and it works.

But I can see why they left that out of the film. :-)

Date: 2016-11-29 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like the Mako Mori test. A lot. Thanks for that,
. Bechdel has been irritating me for ages.

Date: 2016-11-29 07:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ps Torchwood also occurred to me though I wondered if simply the way to make aliens seem almost incomprehensible alien is tentacles mostly behind smoke and glass.

Date: 2016-11-29 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ppl ( sorry! I'm interested!) it occurs to me the Aliens in Devon really ought to be a scene in the Europe in Autumn series..


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Simon Bradshaw

September 2017


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