Good Scene / Bad Scene
Chosen by Vincenzo Natali, the director of 'Cypher'
Friday 05 September 2003
GOOD: '2001: A Space Odyssey' (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
It's the scene where HAL the computer gets shut down. It's one of the saddest death scenes ever. Even though the character dying isn't human, you're witnessing the computer's mind eroding. Dave has been shut outside and says: "Open the pod bay doors, HAL." He forces his way in and erases the memory banks until at the very end, HAL sings "Daisy, Daisy".
HAL's dying, and it's horrifying to watch. Kubrick explores how "civilised" man is a brittle veneer, and his most human character is HAL. He was making a statement about human beings working hard at being computer-like when we're descendents of the apes. HAL isn't evil; he's acting in the mission's interests by shutting down life support. It's one of the ambiguities of the movie, and why it provokes so much discussion. HAL's a tragic Shakespearean character. My film is about corporations dehumanising our world, and 2001 deals with people lost in a technological world. It's a masterpiece.
BAD: 'Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace' (George Lucas, 1999)
It's when Liam Neeson's character explains that The Force is a bacteria in your blood. In one scene George Lucas undermines the entire mythology of the first Star Wars trilogy, films that were important to me growing up. I like the original explanation of The Force: that it's an energy shared by all beings and anyone who is open to it can access it. Neeson's character says you have to inherit it, and to me that's an elitist ideology as opposed to a completely democratic one.
I don't know why Lucas did it. The first trilogy was about rebels fighting an all-powerful empire, and at the time he was a young film-maker struggling against the studio. Episode 1, which he made after becoming very powerful, is about a trade federation. His priorities have changed, maybe it's the difference between youth and middle age. He's a really interesting film-maker, but a victim of his own success.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Reyhaneh Jabbari: Iran due to execute woman for murder of her alleged attempted rapist
- 2 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 3 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 4 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 5 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
Cilla, episode 3, ITV - review: Ed Stoppard steals the limelight as Beatles manager Brian Epstein
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'
The Jungle Book: A tale as old as time
The Simpsons death: Character killed off - but not the one you thought
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >