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Reed Konsler (
Wed, 16 Jul 1997 10:09:43 -0400 (EDT)

>Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 10:12:54 +0000
>From: Ken Pantheists <>

>I also didn't intend for it to sound art-snobby. I do work in tv out
>here and believe me... you can't be a snob. Maybe the reason i'm being
>hard on it it because I really was expecting good entertainment.

Actually, I didn't intend to critcisise that criticism [ Boy we are being
careful now, aren't we? ;-) ] but simply to point out that it isn't the
onlt frame from which to approach the piece.

>I agree, a 12 year oild could see this flick, but it's mising a couple
>of ingredients that a twelve year old would find entertaining.
>(Co-incidentally, they are the ingredients *I* find entertaining as
>1) Some really cool aliens.

I think that was a style decision. You have to read Sagan. Carl
see's aliens as potentially our closest friends, metaphorically (should
they be more advanced) our "fathers". I know the symbolism was
heavy-handed...but it's being put up against the Alien/Aliens/Alien 3
genre (of which, yes, Starship Troopers, if it sticks to book, will be
a very telling example) in which we have to go out and "kill or be
killed" with the BEMs. Those are "bad" memes. The aliens as your
long lost father is "good" memes.

>From my perspective, of course.

>2) A chase scene where the bad guy really gets it.

Same as above. Style decision. What if I told you Carl made the
screenwriters take a vow not to use such stunts to attract your

>It really is interesting to see science portrayed in this light and
>definately a move forward. My feeling is only this. They should have run
>it through one last panel of screenwriters and moved it a little further

I agree. But I think that it's an incredible challenge to translate Sagan's
vision into the "big screen". The movie tries not to push all your buttons
too hard...and so is less engaging that those movies that do. But it still
communicates a decent message.

Perhaps I recommend it as an example of something that has, at least
partially, been memetically engineered as opposed to memetically evolved.

But, you're right, the tools are still too crude to compete head to head
against our own nature.

I, for one, am going to see it again. If only, in my small way, to encourage
the movie industry to produce more like it. Maybe the next one will be
more artistically subtle...I just think the movie's heart is in the right place.

Support your local Romantics!


Reed Konsler