Monday, November 30, 2009 | |

cleaning up
Daeheung Station, tonight.

I was coming back from seeing Moon at Seoul Theater in Jongno, where it was playing in the biggest movie theater I have ever been in--a huge, cavernous, old-fashioned one with a balcony (!). Sadly, aside from my friend and I, there were only two other people in the entire place. I don't think they were expecting anyone to show up for it--they started it 10 minutes early and we missed the first few.

Roger Ebert quipped that the early design of the film doesn't so much reference 2001 as "simply happen to date back to the '2001' era (which was of course eight years ago)". I also saw quite a bit of Tarkovsky's Solaris (haven't seen Soderbergh's remake) early on; but having set itself up with them in the first act, it goes its own way from then on out. Sam Rockwell's great (and he has to be, as the only other substantial role in the entire movie is Kevin Spacey's voice as the base's computer), the exterior moon effects shots are awesome in their monochrome desolation, and Clint Mansell's score is pretty great, too--a bit more restrained and moody than the churning motifs of The Fountain (even got compared to Low in NME). It's just a pretty great little hard sci-fi flick. You should go (and maybe get there early)! If anyone wants to, I'll go again!

It was released in Korea under the title "The Moon", which was transliterated into Korean as 더 문, which, if you transliterate it back into English, reads "Deomun" since Korean doesn't have a th sound. I found this a a bit amusing but slightly confusing, as it's come out around the same time as New Moon.

Trivia: The corporation Sam Rockwell's astronaut works for is a Korean-American consortium, and the name of the base is 사랑 or Sarang, which means "love" in Korean--this because the director of the film, Duncan Jones, was dating a Korean at the time. You can see the Hangeul written on the uniforms and all around the walls on the base.

This has no bearing on the plot. There is, however, one cool, seemingly throwaway line delivered in Korean towards the end of the film--the Korean phrase for goodbye. But which one? In Korean, there are two versions, and you use them in different situations. If you know what those are, the one that is actually used serves as a neat bit of foreshadowing.

Intentional or a happy accident? It's more fun to think of it as the former. Interestingly, although the version used is clearly pronounced, the line was rendered in the Korean subtitles with the opposite one--perhaps an attempt by the translators to downplay it so as to not make the foreshadowing so heavy? Or maybe they assumed the original line was a mistranslation.

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