Similar to a young George Lucas when he made his first visually innovative feature film THX-1138 (1971) with a minimal budget but a smart, thought provoking story, set in the near future about an individual escaping against all odds from a society exploiting its citizens with mind controlling drugs, a young sci-fi geek of the next generation who grew up with these films from the 70s and 80s has now come out with his own debut, low budget film and the results are just as innovative and thought provoking. 

Duncan Jones will be one to watch as George Lucas was in his time. His first feature film Moon is the child born of such brainy sci-fi films as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Silent Running (1972), Outland (1981) and the first Alien (1979) movie, which itself was inspired by Star Wars (1977). But it also has other elements from classic dystopian sci-fi films such as Blade Runner (1982), and The Island (2005).

Moon is a gem of a film. Like THX-1138, Alien, Blade Runner and The Island, Moon is about escaping from a predetermined destiny imposed by an oppressive Corporate entity and concerns itself with the exploitation of innocent people and unethical use of clones. A person left for three years to work on the moon for a company that mines an energy resource discovers that he is not alone. After he has an accident and is knocked unconscious there suddenly appears another person that looks and acts just like him. Together they are able to find out the sinister policies of the company they work for. While the company sends out a team to deal with the situation the two clones work together to plan their escape. This visually stark but beautiful and interesting movie is thought provoking, smart and keeps you in suspense to the very end.

Moon is a project of passion made by self-professed, dedicated sci-fi fans Duncan Jones, who is the son of singer/rock star David Bowie, and the star of the film Sam Rockwell from Galaxy Quest (1999) and Conviction (2010). Duncan who is a big fan of Sam Rockwell’s work wanted him in his first feature film and wrote the movie just for him, hoping he would accept the role. The script, the visuals and Sam’s performance were so amazing that Kevin Spacey also came on board to lend his voice as a HAL 9000 type computer assistant robot. 

The movie has a beautiful, retro aesthetic and set design inspired by futurists Syd Mead and Ron Cobb who also worked on Alien, and Blade Runner. The special effects combined the time honored traditional miniature models photography with CGI to get the best visual look for the limited money that was available.

Moon was made with heart and resourcefulness that would not have been possible to do with this kind of visual flare on such a bare-bones budget even 5 years ago. But this team of film makers pulled it off with great success.

Duncan has already made his next film called ‘Source Code’, which opens at the South by South West interactive Music and Film festival in Austin, Texas in March and in theaters April 1, 2011 and stars Jake Gyllenhaal. An action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he's part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. Let’s hope it has the same heart and innovation that Moon had.
Duncan is also working on a sci-fi homage to Blade Runner, one of his favorite films, called Mute which will get a graphic novel treatment to attract investors before it can be made into a movie.


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