Yannick Dahan reviews MOON

Sophie Lefevre from the company distributing the French MOON DVD & Blu-Ray release dropped us a note to point us towards this video review of MOON by Yannick Dahan:

Yannick Dahan is a very frank journalist ! His program TV is broadcast on a specialized chain Terror-SF.

He never hesitate to destroy films and when he praise a film, it’s a great moment !

Watching the review, the passion was obvious, but my French aint so hot. Luckily, the lovely Hélène Bricks has translated it all for us…

Moon – translation Canal+

Ah that’s hard core. The big thing when talking about movies is How not to spoil the film. Some say “Yes you can say what’s happening after half an hour”  but NO ! I can’t because what I really find brilliant with MOON is just in the narrative reversals and the expectations.

Before I used to spoil films. I was saying “Be Careful I’ll spoil!” But when it’s all about a great film… when you spoil a film with Steven Seagal, you don’t care and nobody cares, but if you spoil MOON, it’s just stupid.

So, listen all, we start that program with a pure jewel of Sci-Fi, a film who gained many prizes in several festivals. That film is definitely against the current compared to today’s small budget productions. I’m talking about the unclassifiable MOON, 1st film of Duncan Jones, starring the awesome Sam Rockwell. A film which may have give of its visual and narrative boldness.

As “The Wood”, film praised to the skies by the public but which never found a distributor, MOON is finally sentenced to a DVD release only…and that is a real shame!

It’s really the kind of film that people should discover, MOON it’s just…well it’s unbelievable that it won’t be shown theatrically. And only because it’s not an easy one to understand, not easy to sale and to explain. That’s stupid, we are supposed to be in a country that is engaged to promote arthouse films, really, there are 14 new arthouse films per week theatrically shown in France with unknown actors, unknown directors, unbelievable titles and so weird things in them that you don’t even imagine it exists and here, f****, we have a really good sci-fi film, one like people expect, directed in a appreciate classical way, and well directed, I don’t understand ! I really don’t understand.

It’s difficult to talk about MOON without saying too much of the story as its strength, beside the awesome acting of Sam Rockwell, as always, is the narrative structure and the brilliant reversal peaks that are all along the film.

Well it’s all about a futuristic in camera in which a lonesome astronaut working on the moon will, first, little by little, find his hidden himself, and then, have a deeply distressing relationship with his clone.

Philosophic concept for sure, but Duncan Jones never did it on a peremptory tone. He knows he doesn’t re-invent the sci-fi style but his film goes direct on the way of Kubrick’s masterpiece! he introduce his metaphysical concept giving it a humanist and sensitive approach through a languishing direction in which the main character routine is immediately perceived and implicates you emotionally.

And in MOON, I find really cool that the robot looks like Hal 9000 and that there is a invitation to think of humanity future…through that scene at the beg where it’s all about energies and what happened.

And the music, awesome music, that gives you a kind of gloomy atmosphere, it’s not at all the same as the viennese waltz with all the spaceships, you know in Kubricks, you’re immediately in a sort of metafilming (* that’s what the guy said *) mode, something crazy like more or less metaphysics.

The direction is done just in the right tone, the storyboard goes crescendo and the rhythm of the film is almost perfect. Any reveal is immediately sidestepped and the whole thing makes a really different film.

Not knowing what’s going on after half an hour may provoke reactions. I saw it before it was released at Gerarmer festival and saw people that didn’t know the story having deceptive reactions and being frustrated…that what makes it interesting, creating frustration or deception…people will say “pfff it’s not brilliant, it’s all for that” but the reality is that, just like in District 9, what is brilliant, is what he is doing with that.

Well, without saying too much, I would say that MOON is a clever film. It uses all the codes of science-fiction movies to create a fascinating suspense before to topple over a deeply humanist piece in which emotions dominate the metaphor.

For those reasons, his approach is closer to the one of District 9 and with the same necessity logic

Never you tell yourself “I never saw that shot before”, or “I never saw that scene before”, or “I never saw that concept before”.

It’s just like in District 9. if you analyse all elements independently , you’ll always say that you saw them already.

The real talent is in the ability to digest influences. Beyond a very personal world,  Duncan Jones plays with his references to create a unique atmosphere.

MOON is impressive in terms of making of with only $5 Million, and DJ had a great opportunity to work with brilliant technicians unemployed because of that famous scriptwriters strike. He succeeded in having a credible world, sometimes spectacular in which his high level of demand is being felt through great sets, special effects, lights and music, in which harmony is a key word and the whole result is highly ambitious.

Those 1st films are rare, the ones who are showing such visual and narrative skills.

When you see what he succeeded to make with only $5 Million, it’s just crazy! 80% of the film are done in simple sets but each on-location scenes are just rocking ! And unfortunately it’s those films that ended in the back of videoclubs, just because bastard with suits, with such an intergalactic stupidity (* what he says is a bit worse but I don’t know how to translate…*) don’t know how to classify them.

We are living in a world of jerks with a scaring narrow-mindedness, it’s obvious.

That’s one more reason why you should buy MOON. It’s because despite its unfair fate, MOON is a film that keep faith in human being. Even if sometimes it may appear a bit boring, it’s just a necessity for the crescendo of story and each scene is useful, necessary.

Really it’s well done.

Congrats Duncan Jones !

(*And then they start chattering as following *)

Yannick: I hate that name Duncan Jones…

Someone else: But it’s ok – it’s kinda wrestler name

Yannick: No! it a name for a young no-talented actor…a bit like an Twilight actor

Someone else: Or name of Gorillaz bassist…

Yannick : What we say is completely stupid…no really … and no one cares …