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Let's Watch a Scene from Mission To Mars 
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Post Let's Watch a Scene from Mission To Mars
In the spirit of Ken, this topic dedicated to one scene from one movie. What the scene conveys, what it attempts to do, whether it's successful or not. Keep the discussion to the scene in question.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BZF7d0QuwWE

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Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:25 am
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Post Re: Let's Watch a Scene from Mission To Mars
I'll have a go.

That the environment is a metaphor for how damaged or twisted the personalities are, but in this new place none of that matters and can indeed be utilised for different/better/more fun purposes.

It's hard for me to fathom exactly cause I've only seen the film once, about 8 years go.

A nice scene though

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Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:00 am
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Post Re: Let's Watch a Scene from Mission To Mars
An excellent scene. De Palma expresses the joy of space by riffing and expanding on Kubrick's jogging sequence. The joy reminds me of the endless 360 the camera takes around Carrie and Tommy at the prom...before all the bad shit happens. It's like the calm before the storm. Gary Sinise watches Robbins and Connie Nielsen happy together and remembers that should've been him with his late wife. I think De Palma can claim his sequence as unique. Is there another film which features a zero gravity dance? And the opening shot which precedes it...I don't think there's any other shot like it in any other movie. With De Palma, the shots themselves are sometimes self-contained stories, even with complete story structure: beginning, middle, and end all in one shot.

I'm interested in Grant's analysis. When the environment reflects the characters state of mind? Is there a name for that? of course I've noticed that in movies for a long time but it seems like there should be a name for it.


Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:34 am
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Post Re: Let's Watch a Scene from Mission To Mars
So, aside from this scene I’ve never seen Mission to Mars. I have no idea what precedes or follows. I even avoided all previous posts in this thread to view it "in a vacuum" as much as possible.

In seeing this, I’m mostly drawn to the domesticated boredom of space travel and the adaptiveness of the human spirit . People are sitting behind a desk while hurtling from one planet to another, after what must have been an exciting and televised launch for which most, if not all of those characters had been training their entire lives, doing normal work-a-day tasks. The mundane hours and days (maybe even weeks) come to a head in joy, rather than bickering and fighting like we’ve seen in other long-slog-through-space movies.

Hearing a song she enjoys, the woman begins to dance in a way that only zero-G would permit. We see others rising from their captivity of drudgery to join or observe this moment of levity. Some rise to higher levels of bliss than others, but all appear elevated in spirit as well as body. Thee scene is likely a nice respite from the stresses before or to come. I thought it was well done and showed some inventiveness in camera perspective.

That it was Van Halen playing is just a bonus. That stuff is timeless.

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Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:14 pm
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Post Re: Let's Watch a Scene from Mission To Mars
Lovely scene and just as wonderful as I'd remembered.

The first shot, which I'll call a "tour", is the perfect set-up: the characters are all tethered to activities that leave them doing what they could be doing just about anywhere. The camera, however, is not subject to these same forces. That's beautiful and it establishes the camera (De Palma's stand-in, in this case) as the thing most playful about the material: from the pages of Thrilling Adventure Magazine, all the wonder a kid could have when flipping through the latest issue. This, in a nutshell, is what the movie is about and it goes about it they way it should: innocently.

The shots of Sinise reveal he's got his mind elsewhere, likely back home. He communicates loneliness very well in no more than three brief shots. There's also intimacy in the scene and not just between the dancing partners; this sterile environment is able to host something both familiar and wondrous at the same time.

It's really great stuff, just one of a few terrific sequences in the film.

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Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:14 pm
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Post Re: Let's Watch a Scene from Mission To Mars
It's a great scene. And I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record at this point, but there is notably no equivalent scene in Interstellar. And there should be. It's like Nolan has just one setting: dour.


Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:31 pm
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