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October 25th, 2004


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11:37 am - Immortel (sic)
Last night I watched a film called Immortel ad vitam. I might have mentioned it several months ago when I first saw the trailer, which had intrigued me. It had been recommended as "probably a cyberpunk movie," but now that I've seen it, it fits doesn't really fit into the cyberpunk genre. I guess it probably doesn't meet my criteria for sci-fi either, but it's French. The French classified The Fifth Element and The City of Lost Children as science fiction, so what the hell do I know?

Anyway, the movie takes place in New York in the year 2095 where humans and aliens coexist (more or less). The plot concerns the ancient Egyptian god Horus. Horus is being judged and is granted seven days to find and impregnate a woman capable of procreating with a god (the French have an uncanny knack for turning genre fiction into softcore porn). He needs a vessel to travel in, so he revives a political dissident from cryogenic hibernation and takes over his body. Then things start to get weird.

Immortel looks really good. It was filmed using the same technique as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, in that the actors and some of the props were real, but everything else is CGI. Apparently there's some controversy as to which movie did it first. If I understand what I've read correctly, the entire movie was pre-rendered shot by shot before principal photography began. I didn't actually notice the soundtrack which means that I'm indifferent to it, but that's not a bad thing. Almost all of the dialogue is in English which is not uncommon for French movies expected to do well in international markets.

I think I liked Immortel, but I'd have to see it again to decide. I expected a standard French sci-fi movie (more explosions and nudity), so I foolishly spent the first third (or so) of the film paying bills and balancing my checkbook. As a result, I completely missed some important exposition. There was a major subplot involving a senator's re-election campaign which I didn't understand at all. When looked it up online, I found that the film is based on a comic book series I've never heard of called The Nikopol Trilogy. I gather there's a lot more information in the comics than in the movie which seemed fairly plot-heavy.

Anyway, if anybody else has seen it, I'd like to discuss it so that I can figure out what the hell it was about.
Current Mood: uncomfortableuncomfortable
Current Music: Muzak at work

(6 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:sacredspud
Date:October 25th, 2004 09:45 pm (UTC)
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That's probably true, but I still don't think that Star Wars with Titties counts as science fiction.
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From:sacredspud
Date:October 25th, 2004 10:38 pm (UTC)
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american movies in general are more fluff oriented

You're absolutely right, but I don't think I've explained my stance on French sci-fi movies very well. Every French sci-fi movie I've ever seen (City of Lost Children and Immortel ad vitam exempted) has been just as bad as the fluff you're talking about. Most of them are just like Star Wars -- Flash Gordon plots padded out with lasers and aliens. The Fifth Element is about as good as it gets, and when you strip away the aliens and the spacetravel, you don't have science fiction, just a comic book love story. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not sci-fi. And French sci-fi is very famous for having plots like that one, hence the "Star Wars with titties" comment, which pretty much distills most of the ones I've seen. It has nothing to do with puritanism, it's the misdefinition of science fiction.
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From:sacredspud
Date:October 25th, 2004 10:46 pm (UTC)
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But you're not right. American movies are usually fluff.
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From:sacredspud
Date:October 25th, 2004 11:06 pm (UTC)
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I've never seen that, but I'd really like to. I'd call 12 Monkeys sci-fi. Somehow I'm a paradoxical purist in that I refuse to equate space opera with sci-fi, but I'm not really a sci-fi fan. I guess I'm mostly a dork.
(Deleted comment)
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From:agaysexicon
Date:October 26th, 2004 03:58 am (UTC)
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I was talking with one of my coworkers a couple a weeks ago about shooting guns, and you should have seen the look I gave myself! (Italics mine)
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From:sacredspud
Date:October 26th, 2004 04:11 am (UTC)
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I did. Man, that was messed up.
Immortel (sic) - Garmonbozia for the soul. — LiveJournal

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