Wednesday, August 04, 2010
k-punk on getting thrown into the BBC TV movie Artemis 81.
One sequence in particular stands above all the others. It is both one of the most disturbingly effective dream - or nightmare - sequences I've ever seen in film (certainly it is far better capturing dream topographies than anything in Inception), and also a deeply resonant image of dystopia. The lead character, pulp novelist Gideon Harlax (Hywell Bennett) suddenly finds himself in an unidentified city: he is on a tram, surrounded by consumptives expectorating blood into their scarves. It is foggy; the city is militarized, although there is a great deal of street market-like commercial activity. No-one speaks English. When he enquires after Helith, the guardian angel who has abandoned him (played by Sting - but don't let that put you off), people laugh or admonish him. A public address system incessantly streams out announcements in what sounds like an East European language (it is actually Estonian spoken backwards). Watched now, you can't help but see anticipations of Blade Runner and Children of Men here. On the commentary, Rudkin says that this section of the film was supposed to illustrate Heidegger's concept of Geworfenheit, or throwness. Rudkin reveals that on-set, they used to refer to this city - actually a composite of Birmingham and Liverpool - as Geworfenheit, but this is never mentioned in the film itself.
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