Vita’s Choice: Duncan Jones
You’ve probably never heard of Duncan Jones, but he’s the creative force behind Moon (2009) and Source Code (2011). He’s also perpetually trapped in the state of becoming a werewolf. The first movie he directed and co-wrote is called Moon (2009), a low-budget Sci-Fi film that went unnoticed initially but has since gained a cult following. The film is about Sam Bell (played by Sam Rockwell) an astronaut working on the moon with no interaction, save for his computer aid GERTY (played admirably by President Frank Underwood) trying to fix Earth’s energy problem. In the midst of this isolated work environment, as he awaits the end of his three-year contract, he has a very personal encounter with himself (probably twice a day, if I know you men. Zing!). Duncan’s writing and directing talents are easily distinguished through the raw emotion that Rockwell delivers, while still maintaining pace and keeping the audience’s attention in what is essentially a one man stage show. Duncan found a hook that people could relate to, by making you sympathize with Sam rather than focusing on flashy made up tech.
The next Sci-Fi project Duncan directed is a flick called Source Code (2011). Starring Heath Ledger’s secretive gay lover, Jake Gyllenhaal. That guy all of us ladies oozed over in Bubble Boy or The Day After Tomorrow. The story is about Colter Stevens, a US Army pilot who has eight minutes to help find a domestic terrorist that plans to blow up downtown Chicago. Here’s the Sci-Fi part: he’s using the "Source Code" device to relive the memories from the last eight minutes of a dude that died in an earlier explosion created by the terrorist. This movie saw great success at the box office with only a budget of 28 million, bringing in $147 million in return. The story itself is original as they come, so that helps; but fact is that once again the story’s theme is about a guy making sacrifices for the greater good. Duncan knows how to take the friggin trope-laden Sci-Fi genre and focus on the human elements, not just the over-techy worlds around the characters, thus, endearing his movies to a wider audience. Another example of this type of film-making would be The Matrix (1999). A unique talent people having been waiting to see make a comeback in action/sci-fi films. Duncan possesses, I think, the talent to make a movie people want to see on the big screen.