Film Styling: Moon
Lot’s of people don’t really enjoy sci-fi films. I have actually seen people wince at the idea of watching anything with the word ‘Star’ in its title. Perhaps it is the way in which these films are executed that puts some people off. Perhaps it is the sheer incomprehension of the fantastical themes and in some ways I concur with this sentiment – especially when you consider some of the dirge that gets through the net. But when a film like Moon came out, it’s hard to turn a blind-eye to the accomplished styling.
I actually went to see Moon at the cinema in the Summer of 2009 after physically rewinding my steps in the street to admire the splendid poster and have since purchased a copy on DVD for posterity. Here’s a great link to a blog post on Mubi.com about the genesis of the rather beautiful movie poster graphics for Moon and how it makes reference to an early Polish version of the Solaris poster.
The whole film has been so impeccably styled and directed that it is hard to place its production date. I’m sure this was intentional as the gorgeously simple costumes, models and vintage set design draw heavily on references from a plethora of classic 1970s space films. Moon forges its own identity whilst paying homage to its sci-fi styling roots in the form of classic visual cues. Isolation and space boredom is heightened by the classically utilitarian moon-base interior. There are also plenty of thoughtful details which give this film its credibility such as the dusty, well-used equipment and the tiny post-it notes, personal effects and knick-knacks lying around the living quarters. Great pains were taken by the production team (who were on a relatively tiny budget) to create a consistently believable environment. The outcome is a ‘future’, which is already ‘old’ – a well referenced trick that is well executed in films like Blade Runner and Alien.
Another thing that impressed me with Moon was the insistence on using models for external shots. It’s an old argument, but for a film that is so visceral and minimal it seems to perfectly compliment the visual appeal and adds a textural quality that gives some sci-fi films a certain tangible realism that the modeled lighting of CGI can never truly replicate.
If you haven’t seen Moon and fancy a watch, it makes an excellent late-night film before turning into stasis for the night. Look out for the brilliantly edited ping-pong match between Sam and himself and the suggestive emoticon expressions of GERTY.