As we sat in the dark, waiting for “Interstellar” to begin, there were some interesting coming attractions. The first that caught my eye was the latest, robot-feel-good flick, “Chappie” directed by Neil Blokamp (District 9 and Elysium), which stars Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel and Die Antwoord’s , Yolandi Visser. Without knowing too much about “Chappie” the trailer plot (filled in by yours truly) seems to be about a robot who is rejected, turned out onto the streets and befriended by street people. Can you see the rejected people/robot trope? In the course of a three-minute trailer, you can also see Chappie get humanized and beloved by his fellow rejects. Then it looks like Chappie gets in trouble, leads some sort of rebellion, and does so heroically. Get ready for scores of films comin’ acha , where the robots will be more evolved, beloved and human than humans. Time to soften us up and accept the coming robot race.
Neil Blokamp is making a career out of augmentation, mutation and automation. In District 9, Blokamp takes us into a world where a human cop morphs into an alien thanks to the alien blasting the cop with its DNA.
District 9 is a reality play on racism and exclusionary culture wrapped in a Sci-Fi flick.
Matt Damon plays an augmented human in “Elysium” where he becomes a transhuman super soldier who is going to take on the 1%, living in an upper atmospheric utopia.
Now here comes “Chappie” and another, Dickensian take by Blokamp on anything other than a straight human.
Then there’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings” a far less passive take on Moses and the flight from Egypt. Ridley Scott directs, Christian Bale leads his people, blah, blah, blah.
My melinated, Moorish peeps are already hissing and dissing yet another portrayal of ancient Egypt where no one is actually black. They have a point with their beef, but do they really want to be the cold blooded and vain worshippers of polytheistic deities who suffer the wrath of the Mono God and then can’t corral the ancient Jews once they realize that all that cheap labor will disappear?
But maybe the story itself is all wrong? What if Moses and his tribe weren’t really Jews but instead were the Hyksos tribe who were driven out of Egypt? And what if the parting of the Red Sea with the staff was just a grand tale for hot sex? What about that burning bush? So who is mad and why? And what is the truth anyway? Black, White, shades of everyone has skin in the game, literally. Ridley Scott’s epic offering is yet more propaganda for a people who need to feel special and shape shift Moses from desert prophet, to blood-in-the sand warrior king.
Finally, we get a glimpse of the latest edition in the “Hobbit” series. Speaking of skin color, whether it’s Tolkien or “Game Of Thrones” it seems like we have to travel thousands of years in the past, into a mythical time, to find a movies with more than three, blonde-haired, blue-eyed people together in one frame. While some groups are fighting over the historical legacy of their past, and others are re-branding, at least one group seems to be living it.
STANLEY KUBRICK vs CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
I’m convinced that Christopher Nolan is the greatest film maker of our time and the best since Stanley Kubrick. “Interstellar” is the astronomical/astrological companion to Kubrick’s 2001. The difference and contrast between the two is Kubrick was channeling the psychedelic gnosis of Jupiter through the mind and gaze of Dave Bowman (The archer/Sag) while Nolan’s celestial muse is Saturn and not just Saturn, but a space just beyond Saturn, where a wormhole has appeared and 12 separate excursions were taken by 12 separate astronauts. They undertake the mission because Earth is dying, not from global warming (thank God) but blight and dust.
Twelve potential planets, twelve explorers, of course, there are 12 signs, but also, when you add 12+12 you get 24, which is the number of Earth hours in a day. Interstellar isn’t just a film about space, but also time. What planet is ruled by the god of time? Saturn aka Cronus or Chronos. So it’s no wonder that periphery of Saturn would be the launching pad of a deep meditation on time.
Time is the matter, the master and commander of “Interstellar” as even The Endurance (Hello Saturn/Capricorn) the ring shaped craft that their ship docs into and takes them to the anomaly has 12 modules connected to it, all in a circle. It is the same representation as the watch face on Earth, which will play a crucial role in the movie.
While it might be a bit of a stretch, the wormhole is in the direction of Chiron, between Saturn and Uranus. As an aside, Chiron isn’t the only asteroid floating out there in that space. There’s a whole group of Centaurs out there, asteroids like Absolus, Pholus, Hidalgo, Chariklo and others identity swapping with comets. Chiron isn’t the biggest, but it is the most complex, which is why it has been adopted, to some extent by the astrological community.
Nolan has clearly shown both a knowledge and an interest in astrology as it has been displayed in almost all of his movies, with heavy emphasis on Gemini, Aquarius and Pisces. The man who had conceived the ideas for Interstellar, theoretical physicist, Kip Thorne, happens to be a Gemini. Perhaps out of respect to Thorne, Nolan added a Gemini crest/symbol the rocket that would take them to Saturn and beyond. What’s interesting is that the twins in the crest are also archers. Jump cut to 2001.
The archer plays a symbolic role in 2001 as well. The default pilot of the Discovery 1, the spaceship headed towards Jupiter. Bowman is the archer, Sag, returning home. Sag is a centaur, just as the myriad of asteroids on the cusp of Saturn.
There’s also a few ironic nods to Kubrick in the movie as well. At the beginning of the film, Cooper is called in to school for a meeting with the teacher of his spirited daughter, Murphy. He was called in because Murphy denied the fact that the Moon landings were faked, a common premise in the future, where the history books are re-written to expose them as a strategy to bankrupt Russia and thus end the cold war. Clearly the Nolan brothers are skewering the notion that the Moon landings were faked. There’s another angle too, where they are taking the piss out of Kubrick and Clarke, as the robot intelligence that works side-by-side with the humans resembles Kubrick’s lunar monolith.
It’s named “TARS,” but Cooper pronounces it like “Taurus,” the bull god.
On the opposite side of TARS/Taurus is Scorpio and the sign plays a role in the film’s two, lead actors ,McConaughey and Hathaway are both Scorpios, the sign of life, death and re-birth, another key aspect I’ll leave intentionally ambiguous.
One of the things that I love about this film, outside of the folds of time and layers of quantum entanglement is it’s heart. There are two characters that represent the distillation and distortion of sciences misguided morality. Michael Caine plays Dr. Brant, Ann Hathaway’s father, who is working on solving the equation of gravity, so that scores of humans can make the leap to the next world. The other is Matt Damon, who plays the appropriately named, “Dr. Mann.” Both are driven and blinded by some need to survive under the false premise of sacrifice and the higher good. Meanwhile, Hathaway and McConaughey’s characters are driven by love and it’s love that ultimately trumps any kind of Darwinian social order.
Nolan has proven to be a more than adequate guide into dream states (Inception) and revelator of the inside game (Batman) and now he and his brother have not only become our sherpas to the stars, but they’re also hatching the very same anomalous conditions that they are hinting at in the film. While the old world and systems crumble around us, there are hints and clues that the future is revealing itself to us, by us, in the form of our future selves. It’s a heady concept, but as Saturn (Interstellar) enters Sag (2001) we have the convergence of expansion and gravity, the very core of the movie’s premise and with Mars in Aquarius on it’s way, the potential for accelerating the process is on it’s way.
Years ago, when I started this blog, these were some of the very same principles that I explored. Pluto in Cap has become in some ways the grave of time as our past is collapsing like a mineshaft, sealing us off from the light of what we found familiar and dear, while the prospect of journeying deeper into the dark has kept the pharmaceutical companies and shrinks in the black and on the beaches of Cancun. But as Saturn spends it’s last days and degrees in Scorpio, we must all become conscious and aware of this ongoing death in our lives. Grief has been a common theme in the lives of many people I know, including mine. Something in all of us is dying and we can hold on, but it won’t serve us. There’s a black hole that’s sucking us all into its dark mystery and there’s no map for where we’re headed.
Happy Sagittarius people! Stretch that bow and point your arrow straight into the heart of darkness and piece the void.