Round Two: JDub on WHayes

Posted 11/11/2009 by JDub in Labels: , , , , ,

WHayes and I are discussing Duncan Jones' "Moon" (2009) this week, so be sure to check out both of our previously posted dueling film reviews from before the weekend.

It seems to me that WHayes is too quick to call "Moon" a work of "pastiche"--a hodge-podge or imitative genre of art. Instead, I think the film should be viewed from the standpoint of intertextuality, which means that rather than being a patchwork of copies, it is art created from other art, in response.

Take Gertie's voice for example. Kevin Spacey does an excellent job of invoking HAL from "2001, A Space Odyssey," which gave me an immediate sense of the creepy evil robot which will work to undermine humanity. Think of the command center robot from "WALL-E," named simply AUTO, which evokes the same creepy underminer image, and in this case, does indeed work to undermine the captain and keep the humans from going back to Earth.

But instead of taking that concept in patchwork, "Moon" uses Gertie's evocation to twist our expectations so that his turning out to be on Sam's side is a surprise. In this way, the film's use of intertextuality as a lens rather than a copied part is artistic and fresh, rather than simply a tired re-creation.

WHayes, there's a difference between artists ripping each other off and on artist using an existing work of art to enhance and enrich his own art. There are simply too many differences in the message of "Moon" from those in "2001" and "High Noon" and the others.

What's more, instead of writing "Moon" off as pastiche, viewing it from the intertextual angle allows us to get over ourselves as reviewers and not somehow feel guilty for liking it. It's a hell of a film, really. Not perfect, but what really is?

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