Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Famous 1984 sci-fi flop which I found fascinating to watch, but that might be just because I knew it had been directed by David Lynch.

Lynch's trademark weirdness sure has its ideal home in a sci-fi film. From the outset there are some good original concepts in here such as the Navigator, and Paul's battle with that weird shield thing around him.

In fact, the tone of the entire movie is bizarre. So many characters paraphrase their motivations in voice-overs, that the word melodrama gets taken to a whole new level. There's even an in-vision narrator to clue-up the viewer on the complex political situation at the film's outset. With so little shame about such wooden conventions, the film confidently reeks of style from start to finish.

With so much post-production, I had to wonder if someone had later spotted how involved the plot was and judiciously gone through the whole film trying their best to clarify it.

Alas, in my opinion, they only half-succeeded.

The main players are so distant that I really never cared what happened to any of them, or what became of their worlds. In fact, I found the whole thing very Brechtian. I wonder if there's a director's cut anywhere without the voiceovers, but with lots of shots of characters saying nothing and just looking disturbed. Brrrrrr.

Overall I enjoyed it though. The visuals and ideas were awesome, particularly in the first half, but some fun and/or sympathy with a few characters could have made it involving.

If I hadn't known that it was directed by David Lynch, then maybe I would have hated it.

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