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Cowboys Invaded – Update (22/6/19)

After a weekend away from the studio I should have come back recharged, well I was and wasn’t, after burning the candle at both ends this past evening. I did come back eager to work and have still made some decent progress on a new set of pieces.

For at least one scene (with a little help from green screen too) I’ll be combining a number of elements to create an image of spaceships parked in a desert of buttes. Viewed from my John Ford point piece. It’s going to take some work to pull it off. I’m thinking that it maybe combination of two still images when you see the shot that I have in mind.

Before I even get there I need to make those buttes that the spaceships sit amongst. Originally I had the idea of having a banner on the base of these pieces. The first piece had striped back cardboard to reveal a layer of exposed ply, really flexible too. I wanted to create a mound and wrap to create a texture. It wasn’t sitting well for me. I removed it to add some strips of cardboard and wrap up again, banner going back on and seeing how it looks.

I asked another artist in the studio for their opinion, they confirmed my suspicion, the banner had to go, which honestly wasn’t a bad thing. It just shows that your first idea isn’t always the best one to go with. You have to keep going until you get something that works.

So far I have 2 and 1 more under construction, I’m hoping that ten will be enough. Using cut up tubes of varying heights to create the basic shape I build up and out slightly before wrapping it up. I’ll probably add another tone to balance them out. Looking at what I have they look good. Part of me thinks I’ll need more, only time will tell though.

Painting the Town… In Melton Mowbray

I’m pleased to announce that my work Painting the Town… (2018) will be exhibited in Melton, the inspiration for the work. For one night only in Melton Library, accompanied by a brand new Film Talk – Violence in the Western”

Painting the Town explores the origin of the phrase “Painting the Town Red” which has historical roots in the town of Melton Mowbray, one night in 1837, the Marquis of Waterford and his men whilst drunk caused mayhem throughout the town, with a few of the men literally taking brushes with red paint to part of the town. Also inspired by the ending of High Plains Drifter (1973) dir. Clint Eastwood, which sees a violent ghostly figure played by Clint Eastwood manipulate a town into doing his bidding. Ultimately advising them to paint the town red. Taking this as starting point and the newspaper accounts of the violence in Melton, which by today’s standards are exaggerated. Compared with the violence found over in America’s lawless Wild West. Focusing on the violence of the frontier America as depicted in the Western.
Focusing on violent scenes from 4 films, recreating the sets in model miniatures form in 2 pairs. Emphasising the reaction of violent acts upon the victims are projected into the respective miniature sets.

Accompanied by a Film Talk the explores in more depth violence in the Western genre.

Due to the violent content this event is only open to over 18’s.

Tickets – £1, available at Melton Library

Cowboys Invaded – Update (9/6/19)

My last update before a well deserved break from the studio. After working 3 days straight and a busy week away from the studio I need to stop and reflect, recharge before returning to work on something new from the list.

I did however leave after completing all 8 gun towers, the aim of the day was to just add all the remaining detail that I wanted to add to the pieces. This was/is to suggest that there’s some bulky internal workings that allow these gun towers to operate. I think I’ve achieved that around at the rear and sides of the set of 8 pieces. I stopped with the side plates which increased the overall widths of the pieces.

Looking at them set up with the slaughter-house where they will be used primarily, they suit the function they’re built for. I can see that more are required, sadly I don’t have enough cardboard tubes to add a further 2-4 pieces that I think would complete the scene. On my return to the studio I will look at the remaining 8 pieces that still need to be made up, some will be just extras of what I already have, whilst others will completely new pieces. The end of the making seems to be insight now. I need more cardboard for a few pieces. I may even do some more revisions to the plot, so a 5th draft maybe written. Otherwise I could be painting in a few months.

Cowboys Invaded – Update (8/6/19)

Time seems to be going rather fast at the moment. I don’t whether that’s due to my work rate in the studio or away from it, it just seems to be going faster right now. It shows in the studio at least with the rate that I am working on my latest pieces, the gun towers which are nearing completion already.

The day began by making up the actual gun that sits inside the casing, which took some time to measure correctly. Ultimately they are longer in length than the prototype. It’s not a bad thing really, if anything it adds to the imposing nature of the pieces. It did however have a knock-on effect to the front of the casing which had to be redesigned to consider the new length of the gun. The height has also changed, as much as I wanted them to be as close to the prototype they have become another set of their own. They have grown from the original design and have multiplied.


A positive of the change of design, my fault entirely, they are all uniform, ready for more detail to be added next time I’m in the studio, it won’t be much, just something to make them look more bulky and too suggest that theres some mechanics under the casing that generates the laser.

Cowboys Invaded – Update (7/6/19)

Today’s focus has been on the gun towers which I made a start on last time in the studio. At that point I had only made the basic tower where the gun would be sitting. Making sure that the top rotated as well before I left them for the day. I also made up the replacement false barricades for their respective entrances.

I came into the studio knowing that I was more than likely be going into mass-production of the gun towers. Starting with what’s become the prototype piece. It looks pretty vicious once I pieced the actual gun together. I then fixed the unit in place and began to build up around it. It looks pretty simple but should be lethal when I add a laser beam in post-production.

Happy with the prototype I then moved into production, making a start on 8 new pieces, using thinner cardboard tubes (I’ll have 9 & 10 when another tube comes my way). It’s a slow process cutting multiple circles out before building them up, which took very little time in comparison.

I’ve already decided that I’m going to expand on the design that surrounds the actual gun. It’s going to be a lot of flat-pack style pre-cutting before I make them all up. I’m excited how fast they’ve come along already. Even more I can’t wait to see how the test footage looks.

Art School Confidential (2006)

Not so ironically it was at Art school I was recommended Art School Confidential (2006) by another student, not a lecturer. That was probably 7-8 years ago now, that in itself makes me feel old. I looked out for it every time I was browsing and never found a copy to bring home, yes I’m old school. It even looked good from the trailer, which sold me a suggested film that I would ultimately never find. I feel cheated and robbed, mis-sold and bored by it all. I know what Art school is and this was not it. Well it is but it’s not, it’s a collection of cliche’s and trying to be funny about it. Coming from the director of Bad Santa (2002) I thought this would be outrageous and lift the lid on what it’s really like to be an art student. Well in America at least.

Maybe the film has simply just dated, the humour, the content, the whole thing has just lost its power to entertain since it was released 13 years ago. Could it be me who has forgotten what art school is really like, a hot bed of creative talent wanting to make a name for ourselves or is the film just perpetuating the cliche. I suppose to an extent all students on any course hope that their chosen degree will lead to success and fortune, able to lead a successful life. That myth in the UK has long since been blown away. My class was told we would be a success if we even worked at Tesco, allowing us to make work, not exactly my idea of a career but I could see the lecturer’s point, some money coming into supplement the real work. But we all know that you have to keep that wolf at bay constantly.

We don’t even get to the final year of art-school when Jerome (Max Minghella) has dreams of being the best artist in the world. Taking the cliche that all artists are great painters and draftsman, truth is we’re not all painters or draftsman. Personally I don’t have the talent for painting…although I have an idea to push that further. My drawing is far better used mainly for sketches. However it’s not how accomplished you are at these traditional skills it’s what you convey with them. It’s ultimately the concepts and the method of delivery to your chosen audience. Jerome has a history of being bullied, his only outlet is his art, even that got him into trouble at times. He seems to believe that going to his chosen college/university he will meet the girl of his dreams – the model in the prospectus, that’s if she’s still there. Oh the dreams of the young.

When he arrives he free of the bullying but thrown into what is now a concentrated pool of art students who are labelled straight away, from the “militant vegan” to the “macho lesbian” etc. How fast have these terms become offensive in a society that tries to be more inclusive. Sure all sorts that come to an arts degree, yes there are characters in there that ring true but all they’ve done is give these walking cliches a bunch of one hit jokes tailored to their cliche, it’s just lazy. When they have crit group (group discussion) this is where things ring true, eve though it’s set-up rather differently from my course. Here each student hangs and drawing/painting up to be discussed, well with the hopes of being noticed. Jerome hopes they will see his talent, and yes he’s accomplished by there’s nothing that’s truly honest in his work, and arrogant in what he thinks. These sessions are a wake up call to who he is as an artist. Mine were used to discuss up to 3 students work, 3 in a 90 minute session, always constructive in a supportive environment, it was the tutorials that had the potential to be brutal. Every art student goes through this. For dramatic purposes the discussion makes more sense to show how far he has to grown both as an artist and adult.

Frustratingly the lecturers are also drawn to show they have rivalries, which is further from the truth, being part of a smaller supportive community of creatives who are engaged with both the students and fellow artists. The wider commercial world of art is nearer to the truth, there are tiers of artists who get recognition, whilst others look on. But isn’t that life?

Early on he’s followed by the cliche of the student Bardo (Joel David Moore) who changes course every year because he doesn’t know what he wants to do. Again another label, even though he’s the one doing the labelling in the film it really makes for lazy script writing, just pointing and saying you’re this type of person, here are your characteristics. He finally meets the model in the prospectus – Audrey (Sophia Myles) who is surprisingly approachable, even modelling in the second life drawing class. What a lucky guy to meet the woman of your dreams just where you hoped you’d find her, it’s just too good to be true really.

Whilst all this personal struggle is going on at campus there has been a serial killer of a the loose, who has been killing students, we already know that one student was thought to be the killer. Now that added layer is brought forward more. It becomes the source of film student and Jerome’s dorm mate Vince (Ethan Suplee) whose way too old for the role is inspired to make a film based on the events. It’s a tired idea that gets no extra laughs. With all the school shootings that have happened in the last decade it’s now just tasteless

Meanwhile Jerome has found his rival in both the classroom and in love – Jonah (Matt Keeslar) who seems to be getting all the plaudits and Audrey’s attention. Jerome the everyman who has tried hard in his short life so far does all that he can, going to his lecturers for advice and even failed artists who now live as drunks. This is where the obvious twist that brings the murder mystery and the first plot together. As soon as the first clue is revealed its too obvious what is going to happen. At this point it’s just about letting the conclusion draw up all the dots. I hardly laughed through this predictable that did little to remind me of all the fun, the friends I made the experiences I had. It’s more concerned with a few cheap laughs that never land in the first place.

Me Before You (2016)

It’s been just over a week since I watched Me Before You (2016) I knew at the time of release it caused some controversy, not really reading into it at the time it soon passed me by. It was only the IMDB rating that won me over to finally watch it. A mid to low budget British film that has got two young leads Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke with a plot that on the surface could lead to some dramatic moments.

What begins as a soft social drama when Lou Clarke (Clarke) loses her job we could have entered the world of Ken Loach or even Mike Leighas we watch a young woman try to find a job after the recession. Tonally it’s all wrong to enter those director bleak realist worlds. It’s all soft and cosy with her family all cramped around a kitchen table. A montage of failed jobs and interviews soon leads her to one that is surprisingly well paid and requires little to no experience, perfect for a quirky woman who knows her own mind. A carer for a quadriplegic who lives close by and only a bus ride away.

Somehow the bumbling dreamer who has kept her confidence going through multiple failed jobs land this one, even when she’s bursting out of her mums old clothes, its awkward leaning towards embarrassing. How did I carry on with what was essentially a safe and dependable film at this point. Probably because we get to meet the patient next where you’d hope things would improve. After seeing Will Traynor (Claflin) in a previous life before an accident that changed his life forever, losing the use of his body below the neck. Relying on a Frank (Stephen Peacocke) his physio to keep his physical strength up and his medical needs. So where does the Lou fit into all of this. Well she’s supposed to keep him company, engage him in conversation and hopefully improve his mental well being, not too much then. Will is understandably angry, having lost the use of his body after leading the life of a businessman and playboy, he had everything going for him, now he relies completely on others to care for him. And that’s where the compassion really ends, the humanity that makes his character ends.

I’m coming to this film with a greater understanding now that one of my family has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, I know it will slowly rob him of the ability to move freely and without the aid of his wife and family who have had to accept in a short time how fast their lives have changed forever. Knowing my relative, he’s not going to just sit there and let the disease eat away at him, he wants to work, he wants to have fun while he still can. That’s something that’s not really explored with Will who has given up, like so many characters in film have just given up, believing their quality of life has diminished to a state where they are insignificant and just want to die. Why should a profoundly disabled person on film just want to die, to give up what they have of life? That’s what is wholly wrong with this film.

As much as I want a cure to be found my relative, I also want him to have the best quality of life, after leading a very active life in the past decade or so, he’s not just giving up. Will we learn has been in contact with Dignitas in hopes of ending his life via Euthanasia. Naturally this shocks both his parents and and even Lou, I have to give credit where it’s due, they all want him to live and carry on. There’s a concerted effort on Lou’s part to encourage him to get out and do things. Leading to some not so funny moments at the races and even a classical concert. Before learning he’s not a walking upperclass cliche, he’s educated but still young enough to engage with Lou culturally. As a carer she’s doing what any carer would do, fill their lives with moments of fun, things to do to get them out of the house and see that life is worth living.

We don’t really know if all of this has paid off yet. Friends from his old life treat him differently and have changed around him and not for the better. He can see that he was obnoxious before the accident, but why should that make you want to end your own life? Surely a change of direction is a better approach to take. We can see that he’s built up a rapport with Lou, leaning almost to the romantic at times, taking her to a wedding and even on holiday, all the essentials of an on-screen relationship. She has her own boyfriend Patrick (Matthew Lewis) a fitness mad cyclist who enjoys pushing himself and incredibly confident in what he’s doing. The opposite of Will whose giving up even the chance of having positivity in his life. Patrick can see that he’s losing his girlfriend to this former playboy whose still got all the charm and money that goes with his name. Emphasising a discussion on how we approach those with disabilities, they are still people, they just have experience the world differently to us.

The final blow comes when after all the trips, the days out and the holidays have done nothing but entertain him before he wants to take his last trip to Switzerland (we are lead to believe) in a what could be a holiday home complete with nurse that will give him the lethal drug that will bring his life to a close. The teary goodbye is frustrating because the potential in the film has not been explored, even though adapted from Jojo Moyes book it could have been expanded, than to simply gloss over and give up on life. The role of Lou becomes problematic after she inherits a sizeable sum that could help her change her life, making her look a gold digger, going after the rich and disabled, walking about his even more eccentric clothes than before, because now she can afford to.

I’m not saying this is an advert for Euthanasia, individuals must make their own minds up, weighing up what it really means to end their life and the effect it will have on others. Me Before You is such a shame, a discussion was completely missed here, suggesting that having a disability that confines you to a chair makes your life meaningless. You may not be able to do what most able people can with ease. Yet there you still share in the beauty of life, which he was given a snapshot here, he like so many cinematic characters before him have just given up, sending the message that being disabled is a death sentence in itself. It’s not.

The Boys From Brazil (1978)

As I mentioned in the previous review I’ve just posted – High Life (2018) I’ve just watched two films that have been hard to shake off since completing them. The Boys From Brazil (1978) was honestly not a film I thought I’d ever find. After being recommended it a few years ago via another blog I did keep a look out for a time before giving up. The name stuck with me long after the review had faded, now it’s time for the film to take affect. I knew it would be a dark film but nothing quite prepared me for this.

With a strong reliable cast of now ageing actors, all having been on-screen since the 1940’s, most of them playing the hero The Boys was a stark change. Of course actors relish the chance to play someone completely different than before. For James Mason, Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier they all took on roles they may’ve turned down before. Of course Mason was no stranger to playing the bad guy from The Man Between (1953) to North by Northwest (1959) and even Field Marshall Rommel in The Desert Rat’s (1953) he’s no stranger to playing a Nazi. Whilst the dependable rock Gregory Peck was seen as an upstanding man, father and lover always wanting to do the right thing, such as his Oscar winning Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird (1962). Whilst Olivier had a varied career, which after The Boy’s might have seen him typecast as the foreign old guy. It could easily be said that they had all reached a point in their careers where they had wanted different more challenging and interesting characters to play beyond those they may have been typecast in.

The 1970’s produced a few Nazi conspiracy films, inspired by then theories that have been floated around ever since. Rumours that Adolf Hitler was in fact living comfortably in a secluded part of South America to a ripe old age. Others where other high ranking members were also in hiding. The Boy’s plays into those fears of a possible rise of the Third Reich to take on the world once more. Lead in part by delusions of power and that there was enough Neo Nazi’s to rise up with them and start a revolution. Well it’s not happened so far, even with the rise of the Far right in parts of the world. Thankfully most of the world and Germany in particular has learned from its past mistakes and has ensured that history wont repeat itself.

The film begins rather disjointedly with Barry Kohler (Steve Guttenberg) snooping around in his van as he tracks old men travelling around Paraguay, complete with camera and crudely adapted radio with a new transceiver that can pick up conversations. A wannabe Nazi hunter that wants to be like the great Ezra Lieberman (Laurence Olivier) who wants him to stop what he’s doing, it’s not a job for an amateurs as we soon find out. What at first stating the obvious becomes all too close to home for Lieberman to leave alone. Before meeting a shocking end he’s able to pass on a far-fetched plot that might have some truth in it.

The Boys is full is disturbing moments, mostly at the hands of Peck and Mason who together with a small team of Nazi assassin’s plan to kill 94 65 year old men over 2 and half years in multiple countries. They don’t understand the motivation behind these orders, Dr. Josef Mengele (Peck) is keeping tight-lipped for a while yet. The Nazi butcher is surely up to something that matches his unethical concentration camp experiments that brought him results that no other medical professional would touch. I’m reminded of the Star Trek Voyager episode Nothing Human that explored the use of medical research gained through equally unethical means in order to save a crew member. The ships doctor is torn between his ethical subroutines (he’s a hologram) and his feelings for the patient. Not wanting to do harm to both her or the organism that has attached itself to her. It takes a command decision from above to move things forward, letting the captain take the blame. The usual thought process is bypassed by Mengele who sees his research as a means to an ends, in the hopes of breathing new life into the Third Reich.

Lieberman soon takes up the case, calling his favours and travelling the world to understand who these men are and why they’re being targeted in what appear to be “accidental deaths”. What you notice early on is that they all have an adopted son, around 12 years old with jet black hair, just on the cusp of adolescence. Things start to click for the elderly Nazi hunter when he meets Professor Bruckner (Bruno Ganz) who explains the concept of cloning, which is believed to be used with plants at the moment, we are yet to see Dolly the sheep that revolutionised the concept of cloning to a new level, changing the course of the technique and it’s application in modern science. Of course ethics don’t apply to Mengele and his Brazilian laboratory of human lab-rats that he still works on into the 1970’s.

The boys it turns out a clones of Hitler, placed with adoptive parents. It’s a disturbing thought to see how science can attempt to change the course of history so radically. This mission is the next phase in replicating the conditions that determined the path that lead to the creation of Hitler that history knows today. His father dying at 65, left with a mother in her 40’s, all they needed to do was send the boy off to war and get the local art school to refuse him entry. Of course these are the other factors that aren’t considered by the megalomaniac doctor who has achieved what science is still dreaming about. The hope to round up these boys or to even execute further missions to ensure that they have a number of potential Führer’s in waiting. Just what would Mengele do with those that fail to lead to another Reich…it’s unthinkable.

The finale sees a desperate Mengele trying to carry out his mission single handedly, conveniently in America where he meets the next victim, who was expecting Lieberman instead, meeting a quick end. What follows is a disturbing vision of a possible future being born. You’d think it would be laughable watching two elderly men fighting one another, yet it’s a chance for a Jew who experienced the Holocaust first hand to deliver justice for the millions who would never see it. It looks slightly dated but still packs a punch when loaded with the historical context. Before the boy arrives home, placing him in a position to leave with the evil doctor or do the right thing via a few commands to his dogs. With a combination of old school war films and modern screen violence delivers something shocking even to today’s audience.

I was left with terrible thought of what could be, the potential if this fantastical theory was realised. What’s more disturbing is how much Peck is immersed in the role, we buy that he is the butcher from Auschwitz is realised by an iconic actor taking a chance alongside other veterans of the screen, unafraid of who they are portraying in what you could call “geriaction” that you could slot this film into easily with more bite than more recent films. Part of me is glad I’ve finally seen this film, whilst another wishes I could shake off the ideas that linger long after the credits.


Cowboys Invaded – Update (2/6/19)

It’s been a short day in the studio, doing just what I needed before breaking for the rest of the day.

It’s still about the finishing touches, which began with the mountain top with a few strips of the darkest brown paper. Using it sparingly to emphasise the raised features. I feel that this piece is just about done now.

This has allowed me to focus on the gold mine entrances – the framework of the entrances has begun to take shape …again, getting out the balsa in what feels like a good few months really, having put it down last when the cross-section was completed.

Now that these pieces are all reaching a point where they are completed again I can begin work on a new piece. Originally I wanted to constructed a fence that was essentially a forcefield. The more I thought about this I new that my design, or my thoughts on the design were still beyond me. So during a rewrite of the plot I took that all out and have replaced them with gun towers that I hope will have the potential to animate. It will be a matter if translating the sketch to reality, a simple design that I can replicate and create a presence again. I know there will be some trial and error involved to get the design right before it’s going to be right. Part of me again is not looking forward to it all, yet I know it’s a challenge to make something more complicated again.  During this time I will still have to make up a false barricade for both entrances

High Life (2018)

In the past day I’ve seen two tough films that I want to explore here, the one here is High Life (2018) a film I’ve been looking forward to seeing for a good few months, whilst another is The Boys From Brazil (1978), both hard films to watch for different reasons which I hope to explain over the course of these separate reviews. You could say that Claire Denis‘s english language debut is my generations Solaris (1978), that maybe stretched to the competent Steven Soderbergh remake.

High Life is a very brave and bold piece of science fiction that like Solaris is not so much about space but more the internal struggles with what makes us human. The fight for control over memory, what is real and what is not. It would be equally unfair to say this is just another version of Andrei Tarkovsky‘s masterpiece, there’s a lot of influence in this film to unpick so it may take me sometime to explain.

What I thought would be just a 2 or 3 person film with minimal dialogue is carefully unpackaged to be more than the trailer lets on before it’s release earlier last month. We begin with the sole surviving adult aboard a spaceship, Monte (Robert Pattinson) who is carrying out a repair on the hull of the ship whilst parenting baby Willow inside, being kept occupied with the sound of his voice and archive videos for entertainment. It’s not unusual for babies to be found in space or even sci-fi, it’s the first time Pattinson has taken in a fatherly role which is mentioned by his character early on. Is this an acknowledgement that the actor is continuing to grow and now taking on the role of the parent in future films. Maybe not just yet, he’s really pushing himself to work with some interesting directors making a name for himself well beyond his initial Twilight films that brought him to the Hollywood’s attention a decade ago. Pattinson’s Monte is an anti hero, a prisoner who among a 7 more inmates were offered the chance for life on a spaceship as lab-rats instead of serving a sentence back on Earth.

I’m reminded early on of the solitude in Silent Running (1972) with the greenhouse where a number of scenes take place throughout the film. Similarities are drawn even closer between Monte’s actions and There are even similarities Bruce Dern‘s Freeman Lowell in how they treat the fellow passengers/crew. Whilst Dern is left with child like robots to tend to the floating greenhouse, Monte has a baby to raise and protect. We still have no idea how we even got to this point, how has he and a baby become the sole survivor of this ship.

The tone changes to an extended flashback that acts to answers all our questions from a quiet first act. The small number of prisoners are under the care and captaincy (it seems) of Dibs (Juliette Binoche) whose able to control them by water contamination. The prisoners all know this but there’s little they can really do to fight this. One of Dib’s goals is to successfully deliver a baby in space, solely through artificial insemination. She does this with the incentive of offering drugs to the prisoners in exchange for using their bodies. We learn that the success rate has been very bad, losing a woman each time through the procedure, combined with radiation it makes the whole process almost impossible to carry through.

So with no sex allowed on board, how do they all release that pent up sexual frustration, 4 men and 4 women. One way is to use the box, which we see in graphic detail thanks to Binoche’s ride on the device that shows just hoe effective it can be. Monte finds that the best thing to do is to be abstinent for the duration, that way he can’t hurt anyone including himself. There’s a sense that all these rules and conditions out on the edges of the known galaxy is far too much for some to stay away from one another. Monte clearly has the attention of a few women on board but tries to control them, acting only to protect them from Dibs who we learn is no better and a prisoner like the rest of them.

High Life is clearly a film made to reflect the #MeToo movement where sexual violence which is graphically depicted is not dealt with in equal measure by the prisoners. The majority know right from wrong here and are quick to hand out justice. However one case of rape reverses the roles whereby the male – Monte is raped in his sleep by Dibs, who gives into her desires both sexual and scientific to ensure her goal is realised. Taking his “good genes” and inseminate another woman. Highly unethical but makes for some dark and shocking scenes that are hard to forget soon after. I’m reminded of Under the Skin (2013) that similarly reverses the roles in rape to place the woman in a position of power of the the now male victim, luring her victims back to devour them in her lair. The number of board slowly dwindles to a few who can survive alone in the harsh coldness of space, the radiation and a disturbed doctor who will stop and nothing to reach her goal.

The third act is surprisingly short and very abrupt in how it begins, with no titles to tell us we have moved forward in time to find a teenage Willow (Jessie Ross) playing opposite a little aged Monte (probably one of my only criticisms of the film) as they seem to have reached a point where they may reach their make. Far bleaker than the overwhelming visually splendour and bewilderment of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) to an abrupt end that leaves you lost for words at last two hours, what have we just seen is scraps of humanity thrown into space to be forgotten and fight amongst themselves. I’m still processing the images, the ideas of this highly stylised bleak film that is not so much about being in space but being pushed to the limits of being human, discovering the worst and the best in us. Not too far from Solaris as it travels further away from home to a place where those onboard can’t recognise themselves.